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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Military Girl

Approximately 8 years ago, I graduated from Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. I know, I know...I can hear some of you *gasping* right now! It's true. I'm a military girl in a military family. My father was a top gun fighter pilot and my brother was a crew chief. I was born on an Air Force Base (Davis Monthan, Tuscon, AZ) 30 years ago and I was a photographer in the Air National Guard (North Dakota and Nebraska) for 6 years (1998-2004).

Basic training is such an intense time of emotion and physical strain...you can't help but make lasting friendships, because if you don't, you're utterly alone. It was the greatest spiritual time of my life...the ultimate in simplicity. The only possessions I had for 6 1/2 weeks were my clothes and my Bible. Some nights, I would pull my blankets over my head and snuggle in with my flashlight and read God's promises over and over. I understood the importance of memorizing scripture during that time...it was the one thing they could not take away from me.

My subsequent technical training was 6 months long. I was stationed at Fort Meade, MD. It's such a gorgeous part of the country...I was so blessed by being there. We spent many weekends in Annapolis & Baltimore. Washington, D.C. was close as well.

I lived in an extremely diverse community of people and became friends with quite an interesting bunch. Bethann was from South Carolina and could turn anyone's head, anywhere. She had a southern drawl to die for...and the attitude to match. She went on to be a combat photographer in Afghanistan. Lee was from near New York City...complete with the accent as well. He went on to be a police officer in Middletown, NY. I've never forgotten them...and often wonder how they are doing.

Many memories have faded...but photos bring them back to life. I found a bunch of them while cleaning this week. I scanned and uploaded them to Flickr with a few notes. See them here.

My days in the military were difficult at times...and great at times...but worth every moment. I am SO glad I got out when I did, but I have so much respect for others that are still serving. I have changed so much since I wore that uniform...I have new opinions, new ideas. But I will always remember my time serving our country with a happy heart.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You go girl. I spent 6 years in the Navy and realized I could surive on a lot less than I thought. Everything I owned- personal or military- would fit into my seabag. My bathroom items fit into a large ziplock bag. Thank you for reminding me of those days. I know I can't live that extreme, but military living made me realize what was important to me. I strive for that everyday. Nice pictures...

11/24/2006 7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YAY!!! Way to go Military girl!! I did my AIT at Sam Houston and DH went to Annapolis, We have lots of Military in our families.
I wouldn't trade any of my military experiences for anything in the world.
I understand clearly about basic being the most simple time in your life too. I felt the same way.

11/24/2006 8:30 AM  
Blogger rebecca said...

sara, you never cease to amaze me, i would love to hear stories....you are the bee's knee's....

11/24/2006 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why some would gasp is incomprehensible. One can be environmentally-conscious, frugal, *and* military.

11/24/2006 12:14 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

ha ha...I know! I think what surprises most of my friends IRL is that I'm such a *GIRL*. You know...into being a homemaker, mommy-type. :)

11/24/2006 12:27 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I would have never guessed!
Good for you. I'm sure it was an amazing experience.
Love the pic...beautiful.

11/25/2006 10:46 AM  
Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

My brother Tim did his basic training at Lackland.

Interesting name, "Lackland." Maybe that 'lack' of land is why it became an air force base...

Sorry, bad humor...

Nice photo.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

11/27/2006 4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sara,
I saw you at big city life, and you said you went to school with heth...then when you said your maiden name....I totally know who you are!!!! I didn't know you well then, but I'm glad to know your a jesus freak too!!! (my maiden name is Reichert) Get out an old annual....Yes......I'm a christian! LOL!!!

11/27/2006 10:16 PM  
Blogger km said...

What a cute girl! :)

11/29/2006 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make me proud to be an American!!! :)

Laura

12/04/2006 7:59 AM  

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