Saturday, September 7, 2013

Drop Night: Our next adventure. A fork in the road.

Last night we celebrated a ceremony called "Drop Night". It's a military pilot school tradition that when they finish their  final "weed out course", they have a ceremony where the Airmen find out which aircraft they will be flying and where they will be stationed!

Now that is the standard for Active Duty members, but because Ryan is Air National Guard -- we stay in Tucson. (Think of "guard" as being for the state, active duty orders are delegated is for the nation).

When they find out their assignment, they stand up on stage, their assignment is announced, they have to say old saying, and everyone in the audience cheers them and says "Here, here!", and they have to take a shot of cheap whiskey, and say "Smooooth" and then turn the shot glass upside down on their head to prove that they drank it all.

It is really fun. It was exciting to see the looks on the faces of the Active Duty guys when they got their assignment. Everyone in Ryan's class was happy. Ryan got MQ1 and we are obviously stationed in Tucson.

Our next school is up in the air. They say it will be March AFB near Riverside, CA. However, this week there was rumor we were going to be sent to Holloman AFB in New Mexico. Where is Holloman, you ask? Have you ever heard of White Sands? You know, where they did Missile testing and numerous people ended up with cancer. Have you ever heard of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico? Drug trafficking capitol of the world? Yep. That's it!!

So this has been a trying week full of many unknowns and decisions. Will he go to NM? Or California? If he goes to NM, I'm not accompanying him due to a variety of reasons. Will it be a tough 5 months being separate? Yes. But we will get through it!

Now if he goes to California, my chances of joining him are much better. There is 50% of me, however, that wants to curl up in a blanket under the covers and hide from all this change and erratic lifestyle. I want to just stay at home, and not worry about leaving our house empty for another 5 months. I want to stay at my job where I feel valued and welcomed. I want to stay in a place where I have some of the best friends ever, who have become like family (since my family lives so far away).

But, if I don't go to California with him -- I know I will always look back and say "I wish I had been more adventurous". Some day we are going to have children (probably. Maybe.), and we won't have the luxury to just be able to pick up and leave for 5 months. I also know that some day in my mid 30's, maybe 40's, we will hit that "mid life crisis" stage where life feels monotonous. Routines need to be broken when the opportunity arises!

So between choosing comfort or adventure, I'm choosing adventure. I'm choosing the unknown path. I'm choosing an area that I'm not so sure about, but I'm young, and we'll figure it out. This experience in San Antonio has grown our marriage stronger, and I'm sure the next adventure will too!

Below I have a few pictures showing the events from last night! After the Drop Night Ceremony, 13 of us rented a party bus and went to Austin, hit up a few rooftop bars, and came back. It was a really fun few hours that I will never forget!


When each Lt got up in stage, they had a slide that the class wrote about them. This is what they wrote about Ryan. Made me laugh :) I love the part about keeping up with this wife on runs. And the Versace flight suit. That's my babe! 

 Ryan and another guy hand painted this sign. It was their class gift. "Target for Tonight" is the bar name, it's based off this tradition for naming a bar in England during WWII. 

This is Ryan crew. "The Guard Guys". These 4 Lt's all went through officer school together in January, all lived together in crappy dorms in Pueblo, CO from March-May, and now have been in San Antonio this whole time. They will unfortunately get split up for this next school, 3 are going to March AFB and one will be going elsewhere. 

This is where the party started! This was a ride for the night. So much fun! 

A few of the wives. And one of the girls is actually the only female pilot in his class. I have major respect for her! I think it'd be really tough to be a female pilot in what's still a primarily a "man's world".

There they are on the rooftops of Austin! It was so hard to leave Austin (we only got about 1 hour 30 minutes there). I love that city!! 

It was such a fun night that I will never forget! Life feels kind of surreal at times right now, meeting so many new people, working in this crazy new hospital, making such big decisions. I think it's going to be an interesting transition going back to Tucson when all this is said and done, as I feel like I've changed and grown a lot this summer.

Have you ever had to make a really difficult life choice where both roads had really positive aspects, and both had a few negative ones? Sometimes I wish I had a wizard. But that's why I pray to God.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Ha, I actually do know where the White Sands are since I visited them last month. They were super cool to see in person but I can see why you would have chosen to stay in Tucson if Ryan was stationed there.

Well you know I faced a tough decision with my move but in the end I never really felt like I had a choice, so here I am in Charlotte. I can't say I am glad this experience happened or that I 'needed' the character building it is providing, but I am trying to take it all in stride. It will be cool to temporarily live in CA and take in all that area of the country has to offer, but I also know it's hard with work and all. Will you be in a hotel room again? I really really hope not!

Marlys said...

That was fun! You know, I can tell that you have matured through this experience, and living in a motel room is something you will never forget and will be so happy to have behind you! I would be complaining way more than you have! It looks like Ryan has made "deep friens" over the past months and it will be hard when to say goodbye when this is all done! Thanks so much for posting this and explaining the traditions!