I’ve shed a few tears as a proud parent since my oldest child was born 27 years ago. You know how it goes … sports banquets, award ceremonies, high school graduations. The usual things that put a smile on your face, and maybe a tear in your eye.
But this weekend’s events really put me to the test, because my youngest son graduated from college and commissioned into the U.S. Army! It wasn’t a surprise, as I’ve had 4-1/2 years to get used to the idea, after all.
Brian graduated from high school in 2011, and immediately went off to BCT (Basic Combat Training) and then AIT (Advanced Individual Training) before heading off to college and the Army’s ROTC program in early 2012. He chose to complete the training before starting school, so he could serve in the Army Reserve during his 4 years of college.
Fast forward 4 years to December 2015. Brian has completed requirements for his Computer Science degree, as well as the ROTC requirements. Time to wrap things up with the official ceremonies!
Friday afternoon, we were fortunate to have a number of family members join us for Brian’s commissioning ceremony. He took his oath, had his Dad and I pin on his gold bar insignia, and became a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army! We were thrilled to learn that he also earned recognition as a Distinguished Military Graduate, placing him in the top 10% of graduating ROTC cadets.
On Saturday, the University of North Georgia (UNG) held their Graduation ceremonies. It was so exciting to see Brian cross the stage with his diploma, graduating Magna Cum Laude and a Cottrell Scholar!
The ROTC program and the Corps of Cadets are a big part of UNG, so it was appropriate that the newly commissioned officers repeated their oath as part of the graduation ceremony:
So did I cry? The Commissioning ceremony went by so fast that I didn’t really have a chance. But I did get a little teary eyed as Brian and the other new 2LT’s repeated their oath at graduation.
I have had a big smile on my face the entire weekend, so you can be sure that they were happy tears. I could not be more proud. And I can’t wait to see what else Brian’s very bright future brings his way!
Now how about you? What proud parent moments have caused you to cry?