Our plan was to attend the graduation ceremonies of the Class of 2013 of the United States Air Force Academy. Let me digress. My cousins are a retired air force family who now live in Colorado Springs. They are cadet sponsors, offering a home away from home for 1 or 2 cadets from each class, giving them some place to crash when allowed off base. One of their cadets was graduating and we were offered tickets to the ceremonies. With all that was happening with Robbie, we decided that Lynn would stay home and I would go, armed with my video camera to provide Lynn with a record of the ceremonies. My cousin Cayla (right) took stills while a shot video. It was quite the event with the Secretary of the Air Force in attendance. Due to sequester budget cuts, the Blue Angels of the Air Force were unable to perform the ceremonial fly over during the hat toss, but several organizations of World War II fighter planes pitched in and provided the required celebrations and air show. There are several interesting aspects of the hat toss at the end of their swearing in as new 2nd Lieutenants:
Prior to the swearing in ceremony, children from the crowd are escorted onto the field. When the cadets toss their hats into the air, they don’t expect to get them back. The children are then allowed to run among the cadets to collect a hat
Luckily it was a mostly overcast day, as there is little breeze that reaches the lower sections of the academy football stadium, which is built in a bowl formed by the terrain. I could write pages describing the event or let you watch the 20 minute video that I boiled down from 3 hours of video.
After Graduation, we did manage a weekend trip to the academy and chapel with my cousins after . There is only about a 3 week gap before the next class of freshmen start showing up. In the mean time, there were sports and summer camps making use of the facilities during the break, hockey camp, swim camp, the place was just teaming with high school kids.
We had a marvelous time viewing some of the sights:
With my cousin being retired Air Force and having been stationed there, we were able to see parts of the academy and use roads that are normally closed off. Even after all this time, the place is still stunning, well worth the visit.
Looking out over the cadet parade grounds, there is a grassy area with a number of planes on display. The planes are now on pedestals, raised up. That’s because in the past when the planes rested on their wheels, freshmen would move the planes into the middle of the field! The grounds staff were not amused.
I did manage to find myself a new Falcons T-Shirt, but it took looking through the gift shop at the visitor’s center and the field house to finally find one that I liked.
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|Intro to Colorado and Woodland Park|
|Air Force Academy and the Class of 2013 Graduation|
|Garden of the Gods|
|Truck Systems Testing and Installations|
|Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway|
|Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center|
|Goliad TX Spring 2013|
|Kerrville TX and NHOG 2013|
|Sanger TX Spring|
|Guthrie OK, Spring|
|Junction City KS, Spring 2013|
|Colorado and Woodland Park|
|Early Summer 2013|
|Late Summer 2013|