Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Airborne

That weekend was nuts. Lee had to get 5 jumps in to graduate on time. The weather wasn’t in our favor so he had to get 3 jumps in as of Thursday before graduation. On Thursday they only completed 2 when they were authorized for 3 but the Commander didn’t want to jump into the night so he pushed it the Friday of graduation. That was a bad decision. Friday morning the plane’s engine blew and they didn’t have a backup. They told the families that they were pushing graduation to Friday evening and they would start jumping as soon a plane arrived from Alabama. In the meantime I rescheduled my flight home for Saturday morning. That cost me $130 in fees. I even paid for flight insurance but realized that was a waste....but that’s another story in itself. After I got checked back into my hotel, my rental extension, new flight and arrangements for Cooper to be picked up from his puppy resort…the Commander comes back out and says that they aren’t going to be able to get a plane until Monday. Crikey! They then made the soldiers do dumb detail around base all while I totally stalked them. I made fast friends with other families and we all stressed about the coming week. Luckily, my boss was SUPER cool and didn’t even want the details. He just said to do what I needed to do and we’d figure it all out when I got back. I waited for Lee to be released for the weekend before I made anymore revisions to my travel plans. He has a way of making things work. I gave him all my contact info with the airlines and Orbitz to see if he could maneuver something I couldn’t. They wanted to charge me another $130 in fees to change my flight and $500 extra for the balance for the flight I needed! Lee dealt with the same cooperate nobodies and even had one suggest he get an official document from his Commander notarized, a name and number to someone she could speak to, etc…this was laughable. She obviously had no idea how ridiculous that sounded. Getting the military to whip something up real quick is impossible, especially on the weekend. We finally went to the airport and dealt with someone directly. Lee let the guy behind the counter believe that he needed HIS itinerary adjusted and the guy simply handed him a new itinerary. Just like that! So….we had a great weekend. I returned him to formation Sunday night. Monday morning I was back to the airfield waiting for the jumps to start at 9am. Commander came out and said that they are still waiting for the plane to arrive. At 10:30 he came out to tell us it should be there around noon. I didn’t go get something to eat because I didn’t want to lose my parking space. Haha Noon rolls around and he comes back out and says that it’ll prob be 2pm. At 1:30 I saw the plane fly pass me and we all started clapping. They started jumping at 3pm and it was incredible. Absolutely amazing. 30 guys one by one jump out of the plane and in a straight line they are falling from the sky with their parachutes catching their fall in less than 4 seconds. The Commander begins to update us that graduation will be at 5pm. Note: My flight is at 6:35pm. I would be cutting it close but I thought I could make it. I was a videotaping and picture taking fool. I got a text from an unknown number telling me to walk towards the road. I knew it was Lee sneaking the message from some phone. Then I saw him! I felt this unbelievable rush of pride to be able to be there for him. We couldn’t get too close but he wanted to get close enough to make sure that I wasn’t going to leave before graduation. Silly boy. There’s no way I’d miss that. So I missed my flight. Again. Graduation was around 8pm and it was by moonlight. Mosquitoes were the size of a small bird and I had a migraine the size of China. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, being in the sun all day and stressing about missing another day of work wasn’t helping me out any. After graduation, I waited 2 hours for Lee to hang his parachute and be released for the evening. We drove back to Columbus. I check into my hotel for the 3rd time that weekend. I took a hot shower and woke him up at 2:45 to drive him back to base for his 3:30am briefing. I drove back to my hotel and I was just about to fall asleep when he called at 4:58am to tell me to pick him up because he got us 6am flights. I rushed to base and then we rushed back to Columbus airport(the same exit as our hotel) and missed that flight. Eventually, we made it home. Believe it or not, this is the nutshell version of this story.

2 comments:

Eric and Lar Holquin said...

WHEW!! oh my goodness girl thta is too much!! i am amazed at how flexible you had to be!! nineveh!! i wouldve been a nervous wreck for sure!! for the LOVE!!! glad it all eventually worked out:) congrats to lee!! thanks for the updates, pics and stories, i love them all!!

lee and erin said...

And we love YOU!