Today, Thursday 28 June 2012, Caleb entered the military. I will write more later about the last week which has been full of good things (and fires). But a few hours ago I snapped these pictures as I dropped Caleb off. Above we are in the parking lot of the Field House, where the cadet "in-processing" was moved to get further away from the fires that threatened the southern border of the massive Academy base. Cadets walk up to a table in the lot and drop off their bag, which includes the limited personal possessions one may bring: ID, toilettries, Bible, soccer cleats, stationery. That's it. No clothes, no photos, nothing personal.
From this moment until Parents' Weekend (American Labor Day, Sep 1-3), except for a couple hours on "Acceptance Day" Aug 7, we can not see Caleb or talk to him on the phone or email. His only communication is by written letters. I have mailed the first two already, and am very grateful to the RVA community for sending me here with a stack of notes! If anyone else wants to write to him to encourage him, use plain paper, no pictures, no colors, no cards, and mail to this address:
Basic Cadet Caleb S. Myhre
PO Box 2694
USAFA CO 80841
I cried a lot today. I was brave all week, right up to the last minute. Not really brave but at peace, knowing this was Caleb's desire, and believing it to be God's leading. As a parent it would be selfish for me to keep him from that just because I want him to be with me. This launching is what we prepare for over 17 years. It is good, and right, but still very very painful. I told him my tears and grief do not take away from the fact that he's making good choices that I believe in, I just MISS him already.
Thanks for prayers. Grief is exhausting, so more of the story of our travels eventually, but this is all I can muster for now.