Saturday, May 8, 2010

Our Soldier Graduates From Intel School

Mischelle and I this week, made a long trek from Camarillo, California to Fort Huachuca(Wah-chou-kah), Arizona, to watch our niece, Josette, graduate from the Army intelligence school she has been attending for the last six months. She will be promoted to PFC at her next assignment, which luckily is going to be in Washington state, not Afghanistan or Iraq. She graduated near the top of her class, and is studying to be an interrogator and eventually wants to work for the CIA or FBI.

A fellow soldier she originally met in boot camp, Jennifer, has been her friend and roommate through the intelligence training, and is originally from Honduras, Central America. She is off to paratrooper school in Bladdenburg, Germany for three weeks, as soon as the graduation is over (graduation was over at 10AM and her flight was at 1PM), then it is on to her first assignment in Afghanistan from there. We all hope she is going to be safe in her new assignment and same for all the others that are being sent overseas. It happens that quick. I'm sure there is a lot of "on the job" training.

We picked up Mischelle's mom, Fay, on the way to the graduation. Mischelle's brother, Ron, his wife Betty, and Josette's friend from high school, Dana, also flew in for the ceremony. So there was a nice contingent of family members and friends to help her celebrate.

The graduation was a structured ceremony that you would expect from the Army. A few speakers, special awards (one of which Josette received the day before at another award ceremony) and the handing out of the diplomas.

We're all so proud of her and of all her fellow platoon members.

After the ceremonies, Josette had to do all the paperwork to get cleared from this base and get her new assignment in Washington state. She was hoping to have some time off between assignments, but that wasn't possible. So her commanding officer took the extra step and assigned her to a recruiting office back in her hometown of Las Vegas for two weeks. She gets to go in for a couple of hours a day and do some paperwork, then she's off for the rest of the time. And she gets weekends off. Not too bad.

The rest of us all went back to the hotel to lounge around the pool for a while.

That evening, Josette had chosen a Greek restaurant in town for her graduation celebration. My Big Fat Greek Restaurant was a true example of a Greek dinner, with all the traditional food, the smashing of plates, dancing and pyrotechnics. Gyro's, lamb specialities, licorice liqueurs, ground meat wrapped in grape leaves, falafels, greek salads, ah, what a meal.

I'm sure the Fire Marshall wouldn't be too happy with this display of pyrotechnics but the restarant sure was fun.

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