Wednesday, July 18, 2012

SERE Graduation

SERE graduation took place outside of Columbia, S.C. on a warm day, but not an excessively hot day, like the day we dropped my teen and his friend off. 

E (my teen) said they had black flag conditions for almost all of the first week. They swam out to an island in the middle of driving rain and nearly sideways wind, stayed for two days while it poured, then came back when the weather turned nasty. LOL They did not have to eat squirrels, but survived off of one MRE per day, plus whatever they could catch. My son's group caught freshwater clams, but not enough to really fill their bellies. They were hunted by "Nazis" and learned how to throw knives and shoot their M-16s.

E didn't get any special awards, but he was asked to return next year to staff it and has already agreed to do so. I guess he didn't have that horrible of a time. He said why he was having such a hard time at first was the black flag conditions and the lack of food--they weren't getting enough calories to take care of their bodies' basic needs. The doc stepped in and that changed fast. Next year, this won't be a problem. 

There are 40 Naval Sea Cadets hiding in the woods. Can you find them?

Graduating class of 2012

My baby with his rifle:

My baby is fierce 2

My baby getting his certificate from the XO:

My baby shaking the XOs hand

My baby with his rifle again:

My baby standing in ranks 3

My baby with a Bushmaster BA 50 cal:

My baby with Bushmaster BA 50 2

My baby in ranks:

My baby with rifle 2

Before they marched the cadets out of the woods, they threw a smoke screen:

Smoke screen

The colors (and our silver Subaru in the background):


Char said...

There's an odd ring to "My baby and his [rifle/Bushmaster].

Bless our troops.

Lynne Kensington said...

LOL--yeah, agreed. He's near 17, but it's still hard when I look at him to not picture the beautiful baby boy I brought home from the Brooke Army Medical Center Hospital in San Antonio all those years ago. **sigh** I'm becoming maudlin in my old age...

And absolutely. Bless our future troops, too. All of these kids are exceptional in my book. Rather than wondering what they're going to do with the rest of their lives, they know. And they know that they may sacrifice their lives and/or their limbs to keep us all safe and free. What an extraordinary group of teenagers! :)