5 Days Left!

I can hardly believe it. And it hasn’t really hit me yet. In just a very few days I will be at Fort Jackson. A long journey that began more than a few years ago, but officially on May 10, 2010, has come to the point where “preparations” have ended and the actual training has begun. Indeed, after my family secures their photo military/DEERS ID cards in two days from now, they will be set. Then once I complete the “in-processing” the first few days at Fort Jackson, the legal stuff will be done. Then it’s all about the actual training and work. The first four weeks of twelve is called CIMT or “Chaplain’s Initial Military Training.” Lots if fundamental skills, Army culture training, MOS (military occupation specialty – “my specific job”) training, and physical training twice a day just about every day. To be honest, it’s been awhile since I have had a decent paycheck, I am looking forward to that first one in October. I have some things I need to take care of. But God is good. I’m just going to continue to focus on becoming the best Chaplain I can be and let God take care of the rest. My trips to North Georgia and to Florida were really good. I needed them. Needed to see family. Plus, as a surprise bonus, I got to wear my ACU and officially participate in 9/11 remembrance activities. That was a treat. So what will I do these last few days? I have some new tasks my Dad and I must take care of. I will continue to work out and run. I will get the family to the nearest base to get photo ID cards. I will print out some final CH-BOLC paperwork. And I will begin packing up my car with things I need for the next three months of my life at Chaplain School in South Carolina. And let’s see, today is Tuesday. I have to get it done today and tomorrow. Thursday I will be in Rome, GA. Then return to Macon Friday morning to load the care and say my farewells to Dad. (He is recovered from last year’s quad-bypass) Then Friday afternoon start towards Columbia. I plan to arrive by Saturday morning. I’d like to be there a full day before I report officially on Sunday. Wow! All the waiting, all the odd jobs, all the teaching and Groome driving, all the work at Benjamin Hawkins, all the work with Dad, all the RA work (especially Hunger Relief Derby), all the 5Ks, 10Ks, and Half Marathon, all the trips to Elite Fitness, all the massive amount of paperwork, all the trips to recruiters offices and MEPS, all the changes in diet, all the worship experiences at Haddock and at Greenwood, all the prayers and studies, all the preparations, have come to this. I will need many of these things from here forward. But this is definitely a week of standing at a crossroads. It feels like arriving at the top of a mountain I looked up at from the ground, taking a quick breather, then realizing that I only made it half the way up. The next three months will be climbing the rest of the mountain. Once graduation arrives December 16, and I am standing there in dress blues, I will feel like I have reached the top. But then the REAL work begins once I reach Fort Benning on December 23. No, it hasn’t hit me yet. What has been a long, long stretch has reached the official end of the “waiting period.” But what a period that has been.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Buford Marion Pennington on 14 September 11 at 00:26

    I’ll be there to witness your December 23rd service if you’ll allow me. Your Brother in Christ and always knew you’d be where you are today. Buford Marion Pennington


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