I flew into San Antonio recently for a work-related event and spotted these young folks lined up near the baggage claim area. The single file lines and the large, manila envelopes gave them away: they were on their way to Air Force Basic Training!
I stood in this very same line, with one of those same envelopes, back in 1988. I could not resist the temptation to joke with them so I had to think fast. I spotted two nuns waiting for luggage. I pointed them out to the young airmen and told them that I had asked the nuns to say a prayer for them. I got a few chuckles, a few wide eyes, but mostly that deer-in-the-headlights look.
I posted this photo on several military themed Facebook pages and received thousands of hits and hundreds of comments. I did not state where these kids were going, only that I was in San Antonio and that I noticed the lines and the envelopes. I asked the social networks “Where do you suppose they could be going?” It did not take long for the responses to start rolling, and everybody knew the correct answer. This photo brought back a lot of memories for a lot of people.
Basic training: a fun-filled eight weeks for any young man or woman.
I thanked them for making the commitment to serve our country and advised them to volunteer for nothing, never be first, or last, and to keep their mouths shut — and that they’d they be fine.