........were in the same place today. No pic though, lol. *****UPDATE - Pics here*****
Today's CPO Pinning ceremony today at NAS Brunswick was my first and I found it hugely interesting. I have heard lots about about the whole process and today I got to see Navy tradition in action.
It was a picture perfect day and everything went as smooth as silk thanks to the efforts of all the Chiefs. How wonderful to have all these people come together to provide such a memorable day for the Chief Selects.
I live for this kind of stuff and I was not disappointed. SB and I had discussed this whole thing in great detail. The only fly in the ointment was how quickly the MCPON disappeared. Although, I will concede, he has more important things to do than hang around and wait for me to get back from the ladies room (it was a long drive from Boston to Brunswick!). He was there for the new Chiefs and they received his coin.
Bob's mother and sister were terribly nervous about their part in this.....the actual pinning. The each worried they'd take too long or possibly drop their pin. I got to be the voice of reason and calm.......terribly unusual for me! It was easy though, I wasn't going up!
Thanks to SB and several email sources, I knew what to expect. When the giant doors to hanger 5 began to open there was noisy beeping. Kat looked at me. "Hold on, it will stop in a second and then you will hear the singing." In came the Selects, singing "Anchors Aweigh". They lined up at the front. We all stood for the National Anthem. I am always filled with pride when I hear that and it's even better when it's not followed by "Play Ball". No one was talking, no one was slouching. There were people in that hanger who had put their lives on the line in Iraq (like Bob) other places giving meaning to "Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!" Then there was the invocation and the opening remarks. Next up, the MCPON. It wasn't the greatest sound system, but we were close enough to the front so I caught most everything.
Next up....the actual pinning. Kat and her Mom were nervous. I pointed out that Bob would be going toward the end and they would have plenty of time to observe others. They watched people do it quickly and slowly....smoothly and awkwardly. When it was their turn, two chiefs came over, one to escort them and Bob's sponsor with his cover. Kat and her mother placed the pins, the sponsor placed the cover on his head, then Bob was piped through the sideboys, he received his plaque and ended up facing the MCPON who congratulated him.
The new Chiefs lined up along the back and then there was the recitation of the "Chief's Creed". I sent SB a text message just before the Pinning he was attending was scheduled to begin at 1500. "I feel even closer to you now. How is that possible?" When the ceremony was over there was a long receiving line. We dashed out to "hit the head". When we came back, we only had to wait a few minutes for our chance to congratulate "our" Chief.
We got a tour of a P-3 and a slice of cake decorated with a frosting "cover".
I think my gift went over very well. I settled on the Marcus Luttrell book "Lone Survivor" and a set of beer glasses with the USS Constitution seal on them. I was supposed to stop in Portland at Gritty McDuff's for Blackfly Stout, but I was sharing the ride with Bob's mother and she was too worried about being late and getting lost. Don't worry, I'll work it in somehow in the future. Thanks to everyone who emailed me advice and gift suggestions.
Bob wanted to take us to dinner, but that used the last of his energy. I know a little about what went on last night and I have been taunting him without mercy. Now he knows everything, but the secret is safe. Even if he wanted tell me more......he literally was dozing off at the table!
We dropped him back at the "Q" and headed back to Boston.
A really great day!