Graduation is a very exciting time. As parents we are happy for our children (and maybe grateful that we have made it through too!). It is a new chapter in the life of our new “adult” children. It is also very scary.
Not every graduate knows exactly what they want to do when they grow up. It isn’t easy to know what you want to do “with the rest of your life”. College is a goal and option for a lot of high school graduates, but it isn’t for everyone.
Our area is made up of a large population of active duty and retired military from many different bases which include the Army, Marine Corps and Navy. For example, take our family; we moved here 22 years ago when my husband accepted his last duty station at Quantico Marine Corps Base.
In 2012 our area began to “salute” our local graduates for their decision to join the military upon graduation from high school. . The organization is called Our Community Salutes.
Nancy Kearney, President of the Blue Star Mothers of Fredericksburg, coordinated and organized this year’s event, which was held on May 15, 2014 at the University of Mary Washington, Dodd Auditorium. We received a list of all of the enlistees from our local area recruiters. The list had 178 names on it!
We were able to honor about 85 of the graduates at OCS Ceremony and it was a real tear-jerker. We wanted to make this an extra special event and Nancy didn’t let anyone down. Congressman Wittman was our keynote speaker, a World War II Veteran shared his personal story and made us of all laugh when he told the graduates that they were never too old to have a girlfriend! And representatives of the Marines, Army, Air Force and Navy all spoke to the graduates to congratulate and motivate them on their decision to join the military.
It was a great night full of laughs, tears, excitement and anxiety (mostly on the part of the parents). To everyone who participated, we would like to say a huge thank you! We couldn’t have done it without you and you made the ceremony a class act!
As our graduates collect their high school diplomas this weekend, the Blue Star Mothers would like to wish you the very best. Whether you serve in the military for a term or as a career, you have made a life changing decision and we are proud of you.
For all of the families who attended the event, congratulations to you as well! We know that watching your child go off to boot camp will be hard. We understand that you will be anxious and maybe even worried. If you need anything at all, please don’t hesitate to contact the Blue Star Mothers of Fredericksburg. Remember, we are here to support you because your child’s decision will also change your life.
To find out more about Blue Star Mothers of Fredericksburg, visit our website @ www.bluestarmothersva4.org.