December 3, 2007

Let the countdown begin!  Only nine more days until I get to go home!  I am so excited and ready to go home for a break, after four months of being gone I am ready to see some cornfields and the stars at night.  In Florida, there are too many lights at night to see the stars clearly.  These past two weeks I got to go to the movies, on a helicopter ride, Air Force ROTC ended for the semester, and I went sailing.

I didn’t get to go home for Thanksgiving, so for Thanksgiving Day I went to a professor’s house with a bunch of other Honors students.  I had a really good time and got to eat pumpkin pie.  On Black Friday, I went shopping and bought some Christmas presents to take back home with me.  That evening I was bored and I convinced some guys to take a trip to the movies because I though it would be fun.  I hadn’t been to the movies since I had arrived at school. Once we got to the movie theater we couldn’t decide what to see—I wanted to see Enchanted (a Disney film) and they wanted to see a bloody, scary movie.  Well, guess what movie three guys and I went to see?  Of course, Enchanted!  They did admit later on that they liked it.  Afterwards, we went to get ice cream at a place called Cow Licks and it reminded me of the ice cream place I worked at back home.  Thanksgiving break was nice and long but next year I plan on going home rather than staying here.

On Wednesday, November 28th I got to travel to Georgia and visit Moody Air Force Base.  For the trip I had to get my Battle Dress Uniform (BDUs) and I was pretty excited to finally have all of my Air Force uniforms.  A month earlier I got to sign up for this trip because I was in the ROTC detachment at the right time.  The main reason we were going was to ride in a helicopter, more specifically a HH-60.  I had never ridden in a helicopter before and I was thrilled to have this chance!  The drive to the base took 3.5 hours and then we had to have the doctors check all of us before we could ride in the helicopters.  Then, we got to meet our pilot and co-pilot who gave us a briefing on safety and the helicopter.  Only five cadets could ride at once, so when the first group went up the rest of us went to eat and see the base.  I thought the base looked pretty small, but I don’t think we got to see all of it, and I have never been on an Air Force base before, just Navy bases.  We got in the helicopter and I got a seat next to the door, which was great because the doors were open for the entire ride.  Unfortunately, my headset didn’t have a place to plug in and I didn’t get to hear any of the conversations.  The helicopter is equipped with two guns and they fired those at targets like old cars and airplanes.  Then my favorite part—I got to launch a flare!!  All I had to do was push a big red button next to the gunner, but not everyone got to do it.  The ride lasted about 35 minutes and we landed and took-off a couple of times.  When the last group was going, my group got to talk to some of the officers and enlisted people and the whole experience was great.  Then we all jumped back into the van for another 3.5 hour drive back to Riddle.

Air Force ROTC ended with an event called Pass-in-Review which is a big event where the cadet officers switch, awards are passed out, and all the flights march around the soccer field.  Everyone has to wear their service dress which means a tie and a jacket; this event is one of the fancier ones.  I wasn’t expecting to get an award and I was shocked when my name was called.  The award I got is the AFROTC Commendation Award and it means my performance was pretty outstanding and I should get a ribbon to pin on my uniform.  I still can’t believe I made it through an entire semester of AFROTC!

On Saturday, I went sailing with my Honors class.  We didn’t go out on the ocean we just stayed in the Halifax River, I was hoping for some bigger waves, like ocean size. The boat was huge compared to some other boats that were docked at the yacht club.  I was told that the boat we were on was 50 feet long and I think that’s pretty good size.  Also, we got a tour of the yacht club and it was really nice and all decorated for Christmas.  When I was in the building it felt like December and then I stepped back outside into the 70° weather.  My next journal entry will be written from Illinois were hopefully it will be snowing.  Good luck on your finals!

Until next time,


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