Well, I have finally gotten this post together. As most of you know my brother Jared was just deployed to Afghanistan. He’ll still be in the states for awhile, but he’ll be in training, and we won’t be seeing him for about a year. This weekend we went to two send off ceremonies for him.
This was a “Motorcycle Gang” called the patriot guard they were at both locations.
Eva got a stuffed bear.
The soldiers assemble
She sang the National Anthem
These guys played the bagpipes. They were awesome.
The VFW was giving out “Troop Support” bracelets to the family members.
After the ceremony it was time for the most important part of every gathering that family is involved in: Posing for pictures!
Our friends Morry and Dottie Knudsen came along for the small ceremony the first day.
After the photography session, we went outside to see Jared off as he boarded the bus.
First he had to Kiss Eva goodbye. They were the target of a bunch of cameras, even a newspaper, and they ended up as the featured photo of the story on the send off.
The bus driving away was a ceremony in itself. The Patriot Guard led the procession followed by fire trucks and all manner of noise making vehicles.
The ceremony the next day was massive compared to this one. It was held in a huge stadium.
We made it down to the first level and found her. She had saved us seats, which was a good thing, because it would have been pretty much impossible to sit on the first level otherwise.
We somehow spotted Jared in the mass of soldiers. He’s in the middle on the left.
We had to shout at Jared for awhile before he heard us.
We couldn’t get down from the bleachers right away because of the mass of people, so Eva gave up and climbed over all the chairs to get to him.
Another family portrait. This time we didn’t have Morry and Dottie there to take pictures for us, so we gave our cameras to a woman sitting in the bleachers.
When Jared had to leave, Eva walked with him as far as she could.
We went outside to see the busses off. We were able to spot Jared inside the second bus. The windows were shaded so it’s hard to tell, but that’s him in the middle. He was sitting on the other side of the bus so we couldn’t get a better view.
People were crying all over as the busses drove off.
We stopped and had lunch at a rest area, Or as Eva calls them, “Way-Sides” and then Mom and Eva drove together for probably over half the trip back home.
We stopped at another Rest Area, and there we parted ways.
It’s going to be a long year for all of us, but I suspect it will be longest for Eva.