Monday, January 4, was a bittersweet day for me. I drove up to Sacramento with my mother for a day of 'hurry up and wait' military style - Ryan was having his swearing in ceremony for the US Army.
We sat there, at MEPS (which I found out means Military Entrance Processing Station and not My Everything Plus Something Else) and watched close to 200 kids go romping through the area. Most of them looked to be around 13 or 14 years old, which I am pretty sure would have insulted them immensely if I had said what I was thinking out loud: "Does your mother know you are here and who drove you?".
Ryan was a combination of calm and extremely excited, one minute in total control of his emotions and the next minute making some of the lamest jokes known to mankind. He seemed to vibrate under the skin sometimes, which reminded me of how he used to act right before a baseball game at Bel Passi.
The swearing in ceremony was brief but moving. The Captain asked them if they felt different yet and I heard Ryan say under his breath, "oh yeah I do" which made me realize he has the makings of a fine soldier.
Mom and I took him to dinner. Along with him was a young girl, barely 18, who is also US Army. She is going to Missouri to become an EMT. Please keep Lauren in your prayers.
As I type this right now, Ryan is in Ft Benning, Georgia. I am sure he is being yelled at in ways he never thought possible. I bet he's cold and a little shocked and wondering what they heck he got himself into...and I bet he is having the time of his life.
St Michael the Archangel, defend him in battle. Fr Vince Cappodanno, intercede for him. God, help him all.