As I have written many times, my hubby is a retired Navy man. He served for almost 21 years and it was a great part of our life together. I stood by and watched him re-enlist many times and each time I felt such pride well up in me. There is just something about watching someone raise their hand and promise to protect and defend you. It is a remarkable thing to experience.
Yesterday hubby and I drove over to Atlanta, GA. We spent the night there in anticipation of seeing our son-in-law re-enlist in the Navy. He had the opportunity to do this at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA.
This morning we gathered at the aquarium to witness this ceremony. He was going to re-enlist underwater. His family gathered together as well as several of his peers who came up from the Navy Dive school.
The entire experience was remarkable. The facility is the best aquarium I have seen, and I have visited many aquariums. This is a beautiful place to visit. If you are ever in the area, go, you won’t be disappointed.
We were given instructions as to the time of the ceremony and at the appointed time we went to a viewing area to see the divers swim into view. We waved to our son-in-law and took pictures, it was all very exciting. Then the divers made their way to the area where the re-enlistment ceremony was to take place.
We went into this gallery area that overlooked a large tank filled with fish and sharks and sting rays. The view was breath-taking. Then in the distance we saw the divers appear. This moment took my breath away. You could see the bubbles from the divers and then you saw these men swimming towards you. What spoke to me the most is that these men do this for a living. They do this for this country. My heart swelled with pride in seeing them in this tank. These are the heroes of our country. They protect us on land and in the sea, literally. Tears fell down my face as I saw these young men having a great time. The contrast of seeing these men among the fish in that tank. It was all lit up and you could see everything going on in there, but, these men do this when there is no lit tank and the fish are not used to seeing people in their domain. They have a dangerous job and they do it willingly.
After a staff member introduced the divers to those assembled in this gallery, our son-in-law took his place along with one of his commanding officers. They stood at attention and because they were equipped with audio equipment we sat and watched as our son-in-law raised his hand and swore an oath to protect and defend this country. He did this willingly and without hesitation. I watched as my daughter, who has been to many of these ceremonies in her life, beamed with pride as she watched her husband repeat the same words she heard her father say. We cheered and applauded as he concluded his oath and then stood with pride and tears as a staff member sang our National Anthem.
The day was one that will be etched in my memories. I am a flag-waving person. I love my country, but today, I was reminded once more how deep that pride of our country and our military is in me.
For those who have never heard the words of re-enlistment here it is. Men and women freely and proudly speak these words daily.
“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
Congratulations dear son-in-law, thank you for your service that you give so freely. Thank you for allowing us to share in this special day.
Thank you for stopping by my blog, Cathi (DAF)