Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

My Brother Graduated....

...From the Air National Guard's Satellite NCO Academy. He got pretty good grades, too.

(The idea is that you attend classes for X-many weeks over satellite TV, with an "audio bridge" so the classes can ask the teachers questions. Then the final two weeks, the NCO school folks go to McGhee Tyson in Knoxville and do more intensive classwork and testing. It's a lot of work. Kev was one of only a few staff sergeants who got to go; most folks were higher up in rank.)

The graduation ceremony was very nice. It included a POW/MIA ceremony. (I can't help thinking that whoever composed this ceremony was influenced by the Passover seder. All that bit with the lemon symbolizing the bitterness of captivity and the salt thing, too...not the same, but way reminiscent.)
There was a speech that wasn't too long by the head chief master sergeant in the Air Force, and the first commandant of the Satellite NCO Academy also visited. He was a Bataan Death March survivor named Paul Lankford. (Here's more about him.) Kev stayed in a barracks named after him. I also noticed a building named Spruance Hall, which seemed positively bizarre on an Air National Guard base but would have been normal in the Navy. Apparently it must be named after this guy. Busy family, eh?

It was a nice trip. I'm glad I went along. Too bad I don't have any pictures of the dress I bought to wear to the thing; it was a really good one. I didn't mean to buy a darkish blue so as not to be too conspicuous in the sea of dress uniforms and mess dress, but it worked out that way.... :) It all looked like an episode of Stargate SG-1 or JAG was about to break out.


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