We left Newport Wednesday morning on a mission to reach Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri in time for our grandson Ramond’s graduation from the US Army Motor Transport Operator Course on Friday morning. A steady 1400 mile ride got us there Thursday night in time to hear 9PM taps.
Very early Friday morning we woke to the sound of soldiers marching and counting off the cadence loud and strong. Throughout the day we saw perhaps ten different units going through their drills. Some were in full combat gear.
As I sat at the graduation and watched the very organized ceremony I reflected on our young people in the armed services. All those fresh eager young men and women with so much ahead of them make you stop and think. Whether we lament their choice or agree with it, we have to acknowledge that the choice is theirs to make and they deserve our support and encouragement. They are serving our country. They have endured rigorous training and separation from home and family. They are facing their futures with hope and commitment, looking toward challenges and opportunities. Some will go to war and return shattered by their experience. Sadly, some will not return. Some will build long and rewarding careers in the military and some will use the experience as a stepping stone to other jobs and careers.
During the ceremony the soldiers chanted a cadence led by an African-American female sergeant. I laughed because a “sista” will be a “sista” no matter what. With a touch of soul she led the cadence – “I used to date a beauty queen. Now I drive a 915.” (I later learned from my grandson that a 915 is a truck.)
Earlier on our trip we also visited another of our grandsons, James who is stationed in Washington, DC with the US Army and has already served a tour in Iraq.
No doubt James and Ramond were inspired by their father, Robert Hunt Jr., who retired from the US Army. They are clearly excited about their military careers and enjoying what they’re doing. They have also followed in the footsteps of their grandfather, Robert Hunt Sr., who served in the US Air Force and their cousins Andrew Hunt, who served in the US Army and Timothy Hunt, who is currently serving in the US Air Force.
As I write this I cannot leave out our granddaughter-in-law, Valencia Hunt, the wife of Robert Hunt III, who has also bravely chosen the army as a way to realize her dreams of furthering her education. She has recently been promoted and is currently serving a tour in Iraq, leaving behind her daughter and her husband.
We are proud of them and we thank them for serving their country.
In the words of the Army Song “Proud of all we have done. Fighting ‘till the Battle’s won. And the Army goes rolling along.”
And on another note: We enjoyed our time with both grandsons who I think enjoyed the opportunity to “eat.”