Friday, March 19, 2010

Graduation


Showing support for her soldier brother!


Proud Army Sister and her gear to prove it

He did it! Ryan graduated today! Today would have been my Grandpa's 89th birthday. He served our country in WWII and would have been so proud to see Ryan graduate. We thought it was pretty amazing that Ryan graduated on my Grandpa's birthday.

Jeff was not feeling great but was able to make it...thank you so much for praying.

We got to the stadium almost two hours early so that we could get decent seats. Poor Jeff was having a hard time staying in his seat because we could see the troops out at one end of the field. I asked him how he was doing and he said it was so hard to know that Ryan was a few hundred yards away but he couldn't just go down and see him.

Promptly at 10AM, the ceremony started. There was a band today playing patriotic music and of course yesterday's and today's events were started with the National Anthem. Hearing it never ceases to give me chills.

I was frantically trying to find Ryan in the view finder of my camera to no avail. It frustrated me to no end. After loading the photos onto my computer tonight, I eventually found him.


And there he is...front row, guy in the middle

After the ceremony, (and yes, we jumped over all the seats again to get out of there) we went out to find Ryan. We searched and searched. We found his platoon and got momentarily distracted by a large group circled around a young couple. It was a guy in Ryan's platoon, down on one knee in front of his girlfriend. Oh my goodness...it was so touching. A bunch of the guys in the platoon were standing around with their cell phones raised, taking pictures. As the sobbing girlfriend nodded yes, the soldier slipped a ring on her finger and the crowd was whooping and hollering. It was so cool.
I wasn't quick enough to catch the proposal, but here is the happy couple.

We still needed to find Ryan. I finally decided to go look in the spot where we had found him the day before. Sure enough...there he was, visiting with some sweet friends from Mass. who had come to see him graduate. I told him that his dad was dying to see him, so we headed back to the group. I saw Jeff suddenly see Ryan. He handed everything he was holding to the person next to him and started to run toward Ryan. I'll let the next series of photos speak for themselves.




"You look good, son."
A father's love

Oh great...now I have a big ol' lump in my throat again. I think it is going to stay for awhile.

Ryan finally got to leave the base after 10 weeks. He said it felt weird--in a good way. :) We took him to lunch for a big burger and then tonight we went to dinner at a place where he could have a steak.

Time always passes too quickly and soon it was time to take him back to the barracks. Jeff was able to go inside and see Ryan's bunk. My mom had volunteered to take all the kids back to the hotel so that Jeff and I could go with Ryan. It was so nice to have him to ourselves for a little while!
The phones, where the infamous and precious phone calls are made

Friends from church in Mass.

My aunt and uncle - who are always a huge hit with our kids


We love you, Ryan!

20 comments:

Kim K. said...

I was prepared this time. I made sure I had the tissues next to me before I scrolled through your post. What a day, Karin. It's just so touching. So amazing. Continued prayers and blessings over Ryan.

mark said...

Wow what a stud. Congrats Ryan!

Michele said...

Ok, second time today your blog made me WEEP. Oh gosh, the pictures of your husband running to his son... it was too much.

Thanks for sharing!! What a touching post!

Waitingfaithfully said...

What a precious post Karin. You retold the day so well, and the pictures were wonderful. Jeff headed for His boy--wow. That must be how Jesus looks when we turn and run to Him--grinning ear to ear, arms open WIDE--and then the sweet embrace! Beautiful!

I'm so happy for all of you, and so very proud of Ryan!

Love and blessings~

Tina

Jean said...

That is so touching! I bet you are so proud of him!! It warms my heart to see the pictures and read your post! I am so glad Jeff was able to be there!

Beautiful pics!!

Angie said...

Glad the computer's letting me post finally today. I've loved reading about you all seeing Ryan, and those photos of him and Jeff...tears, my friend. How cool to see a father and son with such a close bond. Thanks for sharing such sweet days with us all.

Lori said...

I am covered with goosebumps! You have an AMAZING young man, Karin...and America now has an AMAZING soldier. We are all super proud!

trustandobey said...

OK, I now have a lump too. Looks like a fabulous reunion!!! So fun to be able to "witness" it! Could you tell if Nick's family was there too? Be sure to have the boys send forwarding addresses when they can. Praying for your safe return.
Lisa

Kristin Ferguson said...

Beautiful tribute! Jeff looked pretty good for having the stomach flu and his reunion with Ryan was very touching!

I like the new look of your blog. Of course I'm partial to black. :)

Kristin

Sharon said...

Okay Karin, this time Jack and I were both sobbing! It's great how you can catch so much in pictures. We could feel Jeff's excitement. We are SO proud of Ryan!!!

Congratulations Ryan!!!!!!!!!!!!

James, Dawn and Family said...

WOW he looks older and less boyish. We are sooo proud of him!

Lyn said...

I know you are so proud!! Such a brave man. Enjoy your time with your soldier. Continuing to pray for Ryan.
Love,
Lyn

momof3darlings said...

oh those 3 of dad running to hug son.....SOB!! OMGosh those are priceless!! And they need to be printed off as a 20x10 collage. Oh yes. They really really do.

Kathleen said...

To think how we all felt when he left....wow, so amazing!!! God is so good and I love watching him work in the lives of those who put their faith in His mighty hands!!!

Congrats to Ryan and his wonderful mom and dad:)

Todd,Michelle Bloom said...

What a picture of a father's love...makes me reflect on my Heavenly Father! Thanks for sharing your life with us! We continue to pray for your family and Ryan. We are so thankful for him and for you.
Shelly

Ally said...

Such a special post! Thank you for sharing your day. What an honor it is to any Momma to have a child serve in the Army! Thank you!

Blessed Mom of Four, Now Five said...

Oh, my! Yes, I have a lump in my throat seeing the photo of Dad and Son. It will be 4 more weeks, but, it will BE for us, too.
Thanks for letting us see!

My heart is still overcoming, but our JESUS has overcome the world!

Adeye said...

Oh my goodness, I have such a huge lump in my throat. Those pics of Ryan and Jeff are simply incredible, my friend. You really did capture the moment beautifully.

Absolutely stunning post.

Meredith said...

The whole thing is awesome Karin! I'm just so happy for everyone! Love you guys and praying for him!

Elaine said...

Congratulations Ryan! And God Bless!