An Army Graduation


One 2500-mile round trip later….. I’m back! Let me just state the obvious. IT IS HOT IN OKLAHOMA.
Fort Sill is a huge, sprawling, and not very attractive base, but we were thrilled to see it, as if we had arrived at the Magic Kingdom. Weston was there! Army graduations are different from Navy graduations. When Ross graduated from boot camp at Great Lakes (see it here), there was one big show–and it was quite a show with marching and bands–while the Army spreads it out over two days and it’s a more low-key affair. Graduation actually started with a Family Day on the first day, which was held in an auditorium and included demonstrations of their various uniforms and combat training.
Then we got Weston!

When we could find him!
Til we got back to the hotel.
We stopped by Wendy’s on the way because he wanted a Baconator. He had a short list of things he wanted to do on his leave time. He wanted a Baconator, tortilla chips and salsa, a reunion with his laptop, a new cell phone, and cookies and cream ice cream. We did all of those the first day except the last one because by the time we took him back to the base, he was too full for ice cream.

The next day was the actual graduation, which took place again in an auditorium. We found Weston seated with his platoon in this amusing “modified rest position” (or something like that) which makes you want to do something to make them laugh, but that would be mean because they would probably get in trouble if they moved a muscle or made eye contact.
Weston is seated in the center of this picture (not wearing his birth control glasses).
The ceremony included the national anthem, a recital of the soldier’s creed, a reaffirmation of their enlistment oath, singing of the Army song, and a brief video of highlights from their training.

They all came to the stage individually to state their name and where they came from and shake the drill sergeants’ hands. This is Weston.
Then they all marched out reciting a rather amusing cadence about wanting the drill sergeants to go home. And we got Weston again! He was looking very official in his full dress uniform.
Cousin Paola from Oklahoma City met us in Lawton for lunch, and the girls had fun making him not so official back in the hotel room.
At the end of the second day, we had to take him back to the base again and he was out of Oklahoma before we were, on his way to his next school. He told us he’d get to come home for Christmas!

Oh, yeah. And last thing before we took him back to base?
He got his ice cream.
We have a soldier!


  1. doodlebugroad says:

    Congratulations! to Weston and to YOU. How proud you must be – how blessed you are!

  2. GA_in_GA says:

    Congratulations to Weston and the McMinn family. I know you are proud of him.


    All I could think of is thank goodness for the air conditioned auditorium for the ceremony in July in OK!

  3. kellyevin says:

    Congratulations…a proud moment for the family. Been there-done that! Made me a little misty-eyed. 😕

  4. auntbear says:

    Can you say Commander McMinn :yes:

  5. DeniseS says:

    Congratulations to Weston. Surprised on how quickly they moved him out to his next school.

  6. drmusic says:

    Congratulations to Weston! He is following almost exactly on the path of my great-nephew. He went to Ft. Sill last summer, and graduated in September. He was also on his way to Arizona before my niece and family had even left Oklahoma! He trained in Arizona until a couple of months ago, and is now in Colorado. Perhaps they will meet sometime.

  7. Starfish says:

    Congratulations Proud Mama! Congratulations Weston!

  8. angiemay says:

    I love it, have enjoyed the pictures. Make me tear up a little 🙂 Now you have a Navy man and an Army man! I was born to an Army father stationed in Germany and married a Navy man in Connecticut – LOL Glad you girls made it home safely.

  9. AnnieB says:

    Congratulations to Weston and to you! But . . . birth control glasses???? LOL!

  10. Joell says:

    I grew up in an Air Force family. I still think that there is not more impressive sight than a man or woman in uniform, no matter what branch of the service they may belong to, thank God for them all.

  11. marrypoppinz says:

    Still laughing at the ‘birth control glasses’

  12. Joell says:

    Suzanne, don’t forget to add to your “About Me” heading, that you are now also an Army Mom.

  13. Cousin Mark says:

    Atta Boy!!!!! to Cousin Weston. Glad you finished basic and looked fit and trim. Did your nickname 9920 follow you. How was army chow? Did you have SOS????? Looking forward to your Army adventure. Cousin Mark

  14. Cousin Mark says:

    Congrats to the newest Army MOM!!!!!! Glad you got to fill him with contraband non regulation chow. On Johnson Creek we are proud of him. What is his next post and advanced school? Cousin Mark

  15. whaledancer says:

    I don’t think I ever saw anyone who looked that good in an Army buzz-cut. It suits him.

  16. Pat says:

    Congratulations, Weston. And congratulations to you Suzanne for sharing another fine young man with the military. You have a beautiful family, and you’ve done an incredible job. Morgan, you’re a smart, beautiful young woman and not to be forgotten in the crowd.
    Best wishes to you all.

  17. sesamekaren says:

    Guess Morgan will enlist in the air force? Congrats, you are rightfully one proud Mama!

  18. jamiesan says:

    I am probably going to be the only dissenting and reasonable voice here. There is no honor in serving the military industrial complex. There is no honor in killing people you don’t know for money. There is no honor in creating orphans and victims…and lastly there is no honor in burying your child a month before his 27th Birthday. None.

    All that I can say in support of your son’s choice is this; May he put himself in the shoes of those he is invading and may he come home in one piece. I hope for the best for all concerned.

  19. clstinson1 says:

    This is supposed to be a place where we treat each other kindly. Your comment was judgmental. I am a wife to a military police man and take umbrage at your tone. The military life is not perfect, nor are the men and women who serve. However, they are brave and stand in the gap for those of us who do not fight. If you lost your son I know you grieve daily. No one would fault you for feeling the way you do. My husband has been deployed only twice and so many soldiers have gone again and again. Please do not minimize your son’s sacrifice by saying it is all for naught. I know he would not feel that way. When the men are in the heat of battle it is not about big government anyway, it is about protecting your brothers next to you.I wish you consolation and for kind people to support and surround you in your grief.

  20. clstinson1 says:

    The last message was to jamiesan, to clarify.

  21. MandyP says:

    My husband is a former Marine. Both of my brothers retired with honors from the Air Force. Multiple cousins, uncles and both of my grandfathers served in the military, my grandfathers serving overseas during WW2 and the Korean war. My youngest son is at deployment training as I type this. I am TERRIFIED for him, but honor and respect his choice to serve his country and would never belittle any sacrifices he made, no matter how severe the cost. I pray that Jamiesan can someday find peace. Her son died protecting her right to say these things openly, a privilege many in our world are denied. Because without our armed forces, we have no protection from the tyranny that other governments inflict on their own people every day. I may not agree with all of the decisions made by our government and military in these areas. But we do need them, and I respect every sacrifice made by every one of those men and women.

  22. PaulaA says:

    I guess I’ll be the first, and maybe the only, to jump in.  Hot potato alert!   But “discussion is encouraged, and differing opinions are welcome”.  A sad conversation.  As a woman of a certain age, I remember the draft, and hearing whether my friends’ numbers had come up, or not. And whether they came home, or not.  Now it’s an all volunteer military, and that makes a difference.  To me, at least.  I’ve appreciated Suzanne’s pride in her boys and what they have accomplished, and I would appreciate it equally it if they went into the Peace Corp.  I believe that it is appropriate to fight tyranny both at home and overseas, but we could certainly debate the merits of recent wars till the cows come home. Ross, you don’t know me from Adam, but it pains me to see you so upset.  It would be my hope that this website would be a place that differing heartfelt opinions could be tolerated without malice.  And where we treat each other kindly, like someone said.

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