Graduation was scheduled for the much-saner hour of 9 a.m. on Friday, May 21st. We all had dressier clothes than for family day, but the red theme continued--it's the color of the 1st Marine Training Battalion.
As you can imagine, there's a lot of pomp and circumstance. The Marine Corps Band marched and played:
Then the battalion marched onto the Parade Deck by platoon.
There were some speeches, a lot of marching around, and, finally, after about 40 minutes, dismissal for 10 days leave.
Then we were allowed on the Parade Deck for more hugs and pictures:
Austin took us to his barracks to show us where he lived and slept for three months. For security reasons no pictures were allowed. Let's just say everyone in his platoon got to know each other very, very well.
All that was left was to grab all his gear and drive to the motel.
He couldn't wait to get into civilian clothes again, get a good lunch, and begin the drive home.
Neither could we.
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