Close encounter of a proud kind

I have been going to airshows since I was a kid, but yesterday’s 2012 State of Maine Airshow was by far the best.  It was not because the planes, jets and displays were better than ever. It wasn’t the food or the drinks. It was my birthday and I got the best present I have ever received.  My oldest son Ryan and I spent the entire day together,  just the two of us, and he was part of the airshow.  Prior to the the Thunderbirds taking off, Ryan and 36 other DEPers (Delayed Entry Program) were sworn in on the tarmac standing next to the pilots and their jets.  They took the oath and were officially sworn into the Air Force.

It brought tears to my eyes, and many of the other parents assembled on the tarmac.  Ryan has wanted to join the military since he was a kid, and now his dream is coming true.  I could not be more proud.  The entire day could not have gone better.  We left a little late as I looked at the forecast and I figured the show would start late as the morning fog was still hanging around.  We sailed right through Brunswick and Route 1, only being slowed a tad just prior to the gate at the airport in Brunswick.  The former Naval Air Station Brunswick has been decommissioned as part of the nationwide cuts several years back, but the facility looks the same.  We parked right on the base and were just passing through the entrance when the show began.  Perfect timing.  The skies cleared and the temperature was perfect.  The show was great, and watching Ryan take the oath brought tears to my eyes.  Not only was I proud and overcome with pride, but at the same time I know he will soon be leaving home for a new chapter in his life.  There will be a giant void in my life when he leaves, but a giant sense of pride will fill it.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Close encounter of a proud kind

  1. Sue Crocker

    Russ,
    I, always, knew there was something special about Ryan as a young boy. Please tell him congratulations for me. I have no doubt that he will do great things. You and Ann have done a great job!

    Like

  2. Awh! Congrats, Ryan! (and you too, Russ. 🙂

    Like

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