Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Family Time

September was a blur... starting with my nephew's death and ending with a trip to Maryland for my brother's retirement. It has been bitter-sweet to get to spend so much time with family over the past several weeks. It is definately in times like these that we need each other the most.


On September 25, my big brother had two retirment ceremonies for serving in the United States Army. He had been enlisted for 21 years. I am so proud of him. And so thankful that he served our nation in times of peace and war.

His last position was in the Pentagon, working the direct link between Washington, DC and Moscow. We got to go to the Pentagon for his first (and private) ceremony. We had to go through several levels of security to even be in there. It was cool. But so sad that we were not able to take pictures. They had an official photographer there, so he will get pictures of the event.

Next, we went to a general retirement ceremony for several different people who served in the DC area. It was supposed to be an outdoor event, but because it was raining, it was indoors. There was lots of pomp and circumstance: bands, flags, rifles, marching, etc. So cool. No horses, though.

A couple days later, my brother and sister-in-law hosted a party in Michael's honor at their house. There was lots of family and friends and CAKE! Of course, Grandmother made and decorated the official retirement cake. She included all the places that he had served in his 21 years.

At the Pentagon, his Commanding Officer presented him with a "Red Phone" to represent his time spent as a Communication Specialist between Moscow and DC.
We had extended family come in from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio.
During the party, my sister and I looked through Renee's wedding photos. Remember the wedding in March? She just got her digital file back. She had over 1000 photos on the disk so it took a while to look through them. But they were gorgeous. Maybe I'll post a few later.
After all the guests had gone home, we stayed up late watching YouTube videos of a funny comedian. It was fun to catch up with family and share some laughs. Thanks, M & M for hosting all of us at the same time! You guys ROCK!


Billy said...

That was a lot of fun. I am really proud to call your brother, "my brother!"

The Downing 5 said...

Finally! I've been waiting to hear about this! I bet the ceremonies were awesome! Thanks for sharing!

palmtreefanatic said...

Oh yes! Very nice indeed! I too have been waiting to hear about this! That cake looks amazing! I am sure it tasted even better if thats possible!;)
Great pics!

TanyaBee said...

How cool! Loved the red phone (and not because it's RED, haha---just a cool symbol of what your bro did, and of an era past, huh?). Glad you FINALLY updated your blog, LOL! love you!