Les Patterson’s Monday Morning Boost: Brenin’s Air Force Graduation Ceremony

  • The cadence softly echoed in the far distance. I twisted on my post midway up the bleachers, straining my eyes, searching. I knew the source and desired to see. The cadence grew louder with the running footsteps and unabashed exuberance of nearly 800. Then I saw it, fluttering as if perched atop a mast of a long-awaited ship sailing over the horizon. Her blue field of white stars and red and white stripes fluttered slightly in the cool morning air bobbing up and down in sync with the running footsteps of the American Airman carrying her.

    The American Flag.

    The sight stirred my soul. Our National Flag always does. When carried by our military, marching in cadence, representing the might of our country, the feeling is magnified greatly. Such was the case this past week at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, for the graduation of our son Brenin from Basic Training.

    Clint, Daniella, Leslie, Brenin, Elisa and Les at Brenin’s Air Force Basic Training Graduation, Lackland Air Force Base.

    The pageantry of a military ceremony is always rich in patriotism. Designed to evoke pride in our country and honor for our military, the pageantry helps solidify the commitment each service member makes to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    We watched the hundreds of Airmen, Brenin one of them, march across the parade field with honor. They saluted with exactness as they passed in front of their commanding general. They raised their right hand with sharpness reaffirming allegiance to a cause greater than themselves.

    I was impressed with the confidence impressed by the Airmen. Collectively they looked good. Individually, I was impressed with Brenin’s confidence when we talked during the final weeks of his training. I was grateful to see that confidence confirmed when we saw him in person.

    I was more grateful when the father of another airman confirmed that confidence when he thanked us for raising Brenin to be a “Man of faith and prayer.” When we asked Brenin about that later, he was surprised as he said he and the other airman had never really talked about faith.

    We told Brenin it was his actions that were obviously noticed
    by this airman and then shared with his family.

    Brenin is excited for his future. He’ll soon depart for his tech school in mental health at Fort Sam Houston, an Army base also in San Antonio. Between the two we’ll enjoy him being at home for a couple weeks over Christmas.

    Airman 2nd Class Edwin Patterson (1958 or 1959) in front of the Alamo. 

    Airman Brenin Patterson (2015)  in front of the Alamo.

     My thoughts were transported to the time when my father marched on this same parade field. It was not long after he graduated from high school in 1958. After a short few months in the Utah National Guard he switched over to the active duty Air Force.

    Shortly after Dad passed away we were sent a picture of his time at Lackland. It’s the only picture we have from that time period of his life. He’s wearing his Air Force uniform standing in front of the Alamo, also in San Antonio.

    We wanted to recreate that picture with Brenin. Referencing the photo of Dad we paced out the spot and aligned Brenin up in the same place as nearly as we could. I too lined myself with where I thought the unknown photographer must have stood, or in this case, must have knelt. I think we came pretty close.

    Dad’s photo was originally black and white. I had to process Brenin’s in Lightroom to achieve the same sepia look.

    Lastly, I leave with a note of remembrance. Today is the 74th anniversary of the tragic events at Pearl Harbor. Just as we hope future generations will not forget September 11th, let us not forget December 7th.

    Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share.

    Les Patterson

    p.s. Take 13 minutes today to enjoy some of the pageantry of a typical Air Force Graduation Ceremony.

    Les Patterson loves to share stories and the “Monday Morning Boost” is his way of sharing a story or two with family, friends, and clients. Les believes every person, business and organization has a story worth sharing. Since 1997 he has enjoyed finding compelling ways to share those stories through writing and producing radio commercials at the Cache Valley Media Group. Discover how he can help tell your story at www.CacheValleyMediaGroup.com. Feedback and comments are welcome at les@cvradio.com. ©2015, Les Patterson. All Rights Reserved. To UNSUBSCRIBE, reply to this email with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line and your email will be removed.