Other than meeting Lexie, the other reason that Norma Jean, Pete and I were all here in Alexandria with Allison was to attend the Pentagon ceremony honoring her for becoming a Lt. Colonel in the Army. She paid for my ticket here using her Alaska Airlines miles; Norma Jean and Pete drove here from Florida, and today we participated in a very moving ceremony at the Pentagon, where Allison works.
As we entered the Pentagon to get our Visitor badges, I took this picture of BIL Pete and sister Norma Jean holding niece Allison's Class A jacket with Major oak leaves on it. These very same insignias belonged to our father, who was a Major in the Air Force. After Allison treated us to a wonderful lunch in the Pentagon dining room, we all gathered in her office for the ceremony, which was very touching, to tell you the truth.
The colleagues that Allison works with here in the Pentagon gathered on a Friday afternoon to honor her, with perhaps 30 of us there, along with her family. I met some really wonderful people. Allison also brought Lexie, and many of the women vied with each other to hold her during the ceremony.
General Farrisee spoke to us about Allison's achievements, how she was singled out to be the only person in her specialty to receive this promotion before her peers. After the General spoke to us about why Allison stood out from the crowd, Allison had arranged for the three family members to participate in the ceremony: Norma Jean and I removed our dad's Major leaves and replaced them with the silver Lt. Colonel leaves, while her father replaced the insignia on her Army Combat Uniform (ACU) and her beret. Then General Farrisee administered the Oath of Office, and I have to say I teared up and tried hard to keep from crying.
Then Allison, the newly minted Lt. Colonel, spoke to all of us about what it means to her. After this final part of the ceremony, everyone was invited to have cake and refreshments, and we all chatted with each other. Lois, a wonderful older woman who is the primary Executive Assistant to General Farrisee, expertly calmed Lexie. Allison received a handshake from all of her peers: a receiving line, if you will.
This picture of the family was taken by one of the soldiers: me, Pete, Allison and Lexie, and Norma Jean. Although I was dubious about this ceremony, I cannot tell you how honored I felt at the end of it to have been part of it and part of this family. Many times during this afternoon, I thought of my son Chris and how he would have loved to be here, and I was proud of him once again and his service, as well as my beautiful and accomplished niece, Allison.
What a wonderful experience for you. I am also touched. Really nice.ReplyDelete
A well-deserved congratulations to Allison, what an achievement!ReplyDelete
I'm sure you were filled with pride, I'm proud for you !!
What a wonderful experience. Thank you for sharing it. (And the tiny baby in the middle of all those uniforms...priceless.)ReplyDelete
Wow. A new baby, which I am assuming she is handling as a single parent, and a promotion to a new rank. Allison must be quite a young woman, someone to be proud of for sure.ReplyDelete
Good for her! What an achievement. Congratulations and many thanks for all the years that she has served.ReplyDelete
That is a photo to treasure for sure! Congratulations to Allison..you have every right to be proud:)ReplyDelete
Yes, I think your son would have loved the ceremony as much as you did. Congrats to your niece!ReplyDelete
Of course you would experience many emotions at something so awesome at that. I am so glad you were able to get some pictures of it. Allison sounds like a lovely woman. It was a gracious gesture for her to include her family in the ceremony. This is really nice.ReplyDelete
This is fantastic. How beautiful. I suppose the circle, the connection between your father, your son, and your niece contributed to the well of emotion.ReplyDelete
The ceremony looks like it was lovely. I'm so glad you got to be a part of that. What a proud moment that must have been for all of you.
Wow, what an achievement...! You must have been very proud of her. That's quite an honor, and very special that you were able to be there for her.ReplyDelete
I'm just catching up on my blogging. Lexie is beautiful...! :-)
Lots of emotion unleashed on this day D-Jan. I can feel it and see it as I look at the pictures. You all deserve to be very proud and the baby! well Lexie will, in years to come, be showing that picture around and around.ReplyDelete
how very cool to be there for that...and congratulations to her..quite the honor...happy weekend to you...ReplyDelete
Oh how lovely. Congrats to Allison and thank you for sharing this day.ReplyDelete
your niece sure has a lot to be thankful for, glad you could be there :)ReplyDelete
Your 'Fogeys in the Fog' post had beautiful photos, DJan, but the newest member of your family, little great niece Lexie is even more beautiful. All of you have reason to be proud of her mother Allison too!ReplyDelete
BTW...you look very nice in my favorite colors!
Very cool, you have every reason to be proud.ReplyDelete
Patty says I am way too emotional. But I teared up good just reading this post. I have been to the Pentagon more than once for my Colonels and Generals and ate in the cafeteria more than once. In those days the corridors were filled with clouds of blue cigarette smoke. I can't imagine what it must be like nowadays.ReplyDelete
I would have been excited just to be in the Pentagon. Being part of such a ceremony would have been very emotional. Congratulations to Allison, that is a very impressive accomplishment.ReplyDelete
What a beautiful ceremony. Something that you will never forget – an honor to Allison and all of you. Your post was very moving.ReplyDelete