Friday, June 29, 2012

Max's USNA Induction Day

Less than 24 hours after completing our Pony Express expedition, Darth and I were back on the road to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, for the induction of my young friend Max.

I've known Max ever since he was a tiny baby, and I've had the pleasure -- and privilege -- to be part of his life and to watch him become an outstanding young man. I'm no expert, but Max and the Naval Academy strike me as a perfect fit for each other.

Max was fully involved with "Induction Day" activities from early in the morning until the very powerful and symbolic swearing in ceremony late in the afternoon. Immediately after the ceremony, he was allowed 45 minutes to visit with his family.

Between Max being a bit on overload from his obviously exhausting day and the effect on his family from seeing him in his "whites" for the first time, it was a quiet and emotional gathering. As far as rites of passage go, this certainly has to be right at the top of the list.

When our time together was up, Max got final hugs all around then moved on to begin Plebe Summer. I honestly can't imagine what that will be like for him, but I'm sure I couldn't do it. I will look forward to hearing all about it when he is able to have contact with the outside world again two months from now!

I joined Max's family for a quiet dinner, then his father -- my good friend Kenny -- and I loaded up in Darth and drove 5 hours north to Watkins Glen, NY, for a weekend of motor racing. Between the long-haul fatigue of the Pony Express, the emotional power of Max's induction and a nearly all-night drive, I was pretty exhausted when I finally hit the rack!


Jacqui said...

What a fun time! My daughter was your son 12 years ago. Now she's a LT on an LPD, headed for the NSA and cybercom. What a world for these wonderful kids.

Anonymous said...

Those uniforms haven't changed in 36 years! First of many great memories - Conrad '80