SO….On February 11th and 12th, Jimbo had his Turning Blue Ceremony and his OSUT graduation. For those of you who don’t know what that is (I didn’t before this either) its basically his graduation of all his training. OSUT stands for “one station unit training.” So Jimmy’s basic training, and then his “AIT” or specific job training, is in one place, and happens all at once.
So–after Momma B and I spent our couple days in Savannah we did the four hour drive over to Fort Benning and met up with the Wollingers. Fort Benning, has been “home of the infantry” since 1918, and my father trained here as well. Driving into the front gates, under the absolutely BEAUTIFUL bridge, I was astonished. The base was GIGANTIC and it was like an entirely different world. I’ve been to a few military bases in my life time. Both, Parris Island in SC and Camp Pendleton in CA when my brother was in the US Marines, and then when visiting GA with my friends I stayed on Fort Stewart, and more recently, Momma B and I stayed on Hunter Army Air Field when visiting Savannah. But none of those compare to Fort Benning that stands on 182,000 acres and is in literally two time zones. I couldn’t help but get teary wishing that my Dad could’ve been there to see how things have changed, and watched Jim go through the ceremonies he once went through many, many years ago.
photo courtesy of Pinterest
The Turning Blue Ceremony, is essentially the ceremony that aspiring infantrymen are honored with after completing their OSUT training. FUN HISTORY FACT The blue cord that the men are adorned with during the ceremony, originated during the Korean War when the Chief Staff of the Army asked what could be done to boost the moral of the infantry, and thus, the blue cord was decided on–to set apart the men would be battling on the front lines. Im a huge history buff–and so is Jim. So learning about all the rich history behind the Army’s traditions is incredibly interesting to me. Sorry if I just bored any of my non- history loving readers to sleep…haha
All of the platoons that were “turning blue”that day came out from behind a cloud of purple smoke, with the song, Thunderstruck by ACDC playing–kinda cheesy, but I thought it was cool. &Jimmy’s brothers really enjoyed it. They totally see their big brother as a super hero..and it’s just such a beautiful thing. It was also totally cute when Andrew asked why they were playing “The Wrestle Mania Song.”
Jim’s father pinned his blue cord on him, and seeing him beaming with pride was so inspiring, and wonderful. All I’ve ever wanted was for him to see himself like we all see him. As a strong, incredible man, with the drive to do anything to succeed. Too wonderful of a moment not to share. ❤
After the ceremony he had some time off to come out with the family, so we went out to lunch, and spent some time together. Finally we started getting some nice southern weather–it was pretty cold when we were in Savannah!–so I went back to the room to change, and the whole family spent the rest of the day outside just catching up.
The following day was graduation day. The day we had all been waiting for since October 6th 2015.
I didn’t get too many photos, because I was just too awestruck at the ceremony. We didn’t get too great of seats..but what we saw…was amazing. The ceremony took place at the National Infantry Museum.
For those of you that are history buffs, its a MUST SEE. We actually didn’t get to tour around the museum, because immediately following the ceremony we were back on the road, but what we did see was crazy cool. It was definitely another moment I wished my Dad was there. It was something he would’ve loved. During the graduation they showed us the “modern infantryman” and the equipment they use. These men are trained to do a job, that is unique only to military. No civilian career can compare to what they do, and I am just so inspired by the men and women of our armed forces.
Who sees Jim? They all look the same….just look for those brows….haha
Jimmy, although our time apart was difficult, especially with it being our first time being apart–I am just so, sooo proud of you. You are going to do great things in life. &You truly are my superhero. Hooah Pvt Wollinger. I will always “have your six.” 😉
For those of you who do not already know………I’m moving with Jim to upstate NY! The decision to move was a tough one–where I have only one year of schooling left (God willing I don’t change my major AGAIN) I wanted to make sure that my own goals in life continue to progress as well as my goals in my relationship. After finding out that I could have my credits transferred to a school near by–we knew the decision was an obvious one. Now–with this decision, came many FAQs…and many judgements from some peeps..who have no right to judge. I’m not answering these questions as a response to the “busy bodies” because I in no way feel I have to defend myself, my relationship or my decisions. I’ve spent way too many years of my young adult life, worrying what others think. I’m answering these “FAQs” as a way to show anyone who follows my mundane little life, and blog to know how important it is to stand by your decisions in life, and to be proud of your true self. No matter how many people think they know whats best for you–or how many people think they know who you really are–YOU are the only one who matters in these choices. (I also got a little–LOTTA pushing to grow some balls, for lack of better term, from my best girlfriends, and Jim’s sisters)
Q: So basically you’re quitting your job and school and dropping everything to move and become a “Stepford Wife?”
A: First off–yes. Someone honestly worded a question like that. But to answer, NO. I’m not becoming a “Stepford Wife.” But I do find that question to be demeaning to those who do chose to stay at home. My goals happen to be to continue in school, and continue working. So, basically Im going to be doing the same thing I did in MA, just in a much colder, and much north-er (made up word) place.
Q: Which leads me to question…or statement number 2 rather. “Guaranteed you’re going to have a baby.”
A: That is not currently the plan, although again, very offensive to those who do have children…just because my partner has made a career change, does not mean my child bearing timeline has become public information…but if we’re on the topic–you can ask my Mom, and Jim’s parents who LOVE asking the question of “When are we getting grand babies?” The plan is not for at least 5-7 more years. Unless you count fur babies. That hopefully, is in the near future. Sorry guys.
Q: I heard if you’re living on base…it means your married…if you are, its ok, I’ll keep your secret. So…are you?”
A: If I live on base, yes–it DOES mean I’m married. &Yes, this situation goes back to the issue of me always worrying if people are going to judge me. I’m 22. &Im married. Not common where Im from, but it doesn’t mean I have to worry about others opinions. Jim and I, and our families made the mutual decision not to announce it–where we are planning a wedding, and a ceremony before God, a few years down the road. But–its not a state secret. Those who matter, knew. &Yes, I was a little apprehensive to tell some folk, after hearing their not so nice opinions on the topic–but I’m growing and learning everyday–and I am learning to embrace who I am, and who Jim and I are as a couple. So, my unofficial announcement– YES I am married! Please hold your congrats until our 2019 wedding ceremony, and yes–I am still a Benson, for the time being. &YES–Jim does wear my Father’s wedding band. ❤
bald head courtesy of OSUT
Well, that’s all for now folks! Thank you to everyone who has been there for me personally in the midst of this big life transition, and for those of you who have sent kind words via social media, about Jim’s big accomplishments. That positivity is what makes the world a beautiful place to live in. Always be a ray of sunshine in the cloud filled sky. (Yes, again more cheese. But I LOVE the cheese.)
“The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.”