Friday, December 16, 2011

Dana's Graduation

Dana graduated from Prime Power school today. The ceremony was very nice although it was bittersweet to say goodbye to some of the friends we have made. Thankfully, a few are coming to Hawaii with us!

These are in the lobby of the building where the service was held. I didn't get any of Sage smiling because it was VERY difficult to get her to stop picking at his uniform. She likes all the shiny medals.

And this was Dana's progression on the stage:
Check them out standing all straight and proper:
 On the photo below-See that one guy's sleeves? The one who is shaking Dana's hand? All of those large stripes on the bottom of his sleeve represent time deployed. Each stripe stands for 6 months. And he has a LOT. Now see Dana's sleeve? That smaller, single stripe on the bottom? Those stripes represent total time in service. That one stripe is for the 3 years he has been in (he's very close to a second stripe!).  So the left sleeve represents time in service-one stripe per three years. And the right side represents time spent deployed-one stripe per 6 months. The little pointy arrow looking things higher up on their sleeves represent their rank. Dana is a Sgt. The other men are higher ranked which is why theirs are different.  You can tell a whole lot of details about a person by their uniforms.
 All those small colorful ribbons on Dana's jacket front are all the awards that either he or his unit as a whole has won. He has the full size ribbons/awards but for their jackets they wear the smaller, condensed versions. It's hard to tell in the photo but he has a good many of them on-they are all only about an inch long and really skinny. The soldiers have to line them up together in a very specific way. When Dana is preparing his jacket for an event he is usually either consulting a book or looking online to ensure that he does the specific order. Since Dana has been in the Army for only about 5 years he has a few rows of these awards but you can see in some of the higher ranked men they have 6 or more rows (and all have to be specifically aligned to the smallest fraction of an inch. It's really tedious work.)  The rest of the medals and such are for things such as his Airborne Wings or Marksmanship Badges.

Ok, that's the end of the photos and your mini uniform lesson. There is so much more than that but Dana explains is far better than I do.

Today is (hopefully!) the last day in our apartment. The movers are scheduled to come today and we're planning to leave for Georgia this evening.
We will be in Georgia till the 29th and then on to Oregon to see Dana's family!
And then.....

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