I realized this morning that it was Sweet Girl's last day in this command......the only command she's ever been in. She's been in the Navy for 5 years, and she has been assigned to HS-7 the whole time. Now she's changing commands and will be stationed in Mayport, which is about a 40-minute drive for her. But at least she didn't have to sell her condo. She just reenlisted this past Tuesday, so she belongs to the Navy for at least another 2 years. She'll have 30 days of leave before reporting to her new command, and we're hoping she will find time to come home for a visit. It's been 14 months since she's been home, although I don't blame her much since she has a brand new place of her own now.
I'm just so stinkin' proud of her and all that's she's done.
Here she is at a Busch car race in Atlanta in 2006. They gave her a free pass to the race if she would wear her uniform. They would also have put her up in a hotel for the night, but since she was only about 2 hours from home, she spent the night in her old room. She's not really that crazy about NASCAR, but it was a free weekend.
Here she is with the first helicopter that had her name on it. The "birds" have the pilot's name on one side and the plane captain's on the other. This picture was my Christmas present. I had never seen her in her dress uniform before! She has since had her name painted on another helicopter, this time as AM3 instead of AMAN. She has done two Persian Gulf cruises, one for 6 months and this latest one for 7 months. She has been to Italy, Greece, Crete, England, France (she got a four-day liberty pass for being Sailor of the Day and was able to spend the night in Paris), Bahrain, and Dubai (more times than we can count.......it was the only place they ported this last cruise.)
Here she is on deck as they are passing through the Suez Canal (I think.......where else would there be land that close to the ship when they're not in port?). I'd love to know what those shrubs spell.......
This is a picture of the USS Harry S Truman returning from the Persian Gulf this past June. I had never seen the ship before, and it was an awesome sight. Members of HS-7 were manning the rails as they pulled into port. I went to Mayport to see the ship pull in, and I was DOING FINE, really I was, until they started blaring Daughtry's "Home" from the ship's speakers. That was when I pretty much lost it. On the video, you can hear me sniffling (sobbing?) in the background. The ship usually ports in Norfolk, and they immediately fly back to Jax, so I had never made the trip up to see them port before. It was certainly worth the drive to Jax.
Sweet Girl is standing aft of the island, starboard side, the middle person in that 5-person group. (She thought I wouldn't be able to figure out that aft of island, starboard side stuff.) As soon as she had cell service, she called me, and I had just arrived at the pier. I had never been there before, so I said, "I don't even know where to look for you." She said, "Mom, look toward the water." Well.........DUH!!!! Like where else was I gonna look for an aircraft carrier?
She works on the flight deck as a plane captain, launching and recovering helicopters. I didn't think much of her job until I saw (part of) the series "Carrier" on PBS. I cringe to think my baby is working on that flight deck! And this is the same girl who took dance for 10 years and still wants to get married at DisneyWorld.
I was totally blown away by the sight of this ship. And I thought a cruise ship was big!
I just wanted to let Sweet Girl (and the blogging world) know how very proud I am of her!