Memory 5
CBT Regimental March Back, Class of 2007
August 12, 2003

Well, I decided at 7pm LAST NIGHT to jump on the bandwagon and get up there. I contacted some folks on the PlebeNet who said they were driving up and arranged to meet them at 2:30am and we hit the road! IT WAS WORTH THE 12 HOURS IN THE CAR TODAY, LEMME TELL YOU.

We staked out our spot at the top of Washington Road and heard the music break through the barrier (at around 8:30am). The excitement was palpable. They came around the bend with huge grins and looks of pride like you wouldn't believe! They were filthy and sweaty and exhausted looking, but really proud! They were carrying their motto on their class banner "Always Remember, Never Surrender, Class of 2007" as folks were hootin' and hollerin' to all of them, "Welcome Back! Kill the BEAST! Congratulations,
2007! Way to GO!!!" I did not see my cadet, but my co-traveller's NC practically fell out of step when she saw her parents and sister! She was THRILLED!!!

The first company to pass was the Honor company, then the others followed in alphabetical order, but I did not realize that since the Guidons were impossible to read and there was much talk about the potentially scrambled order. I didn't see my NC, but I saw many smiling, proud faces!!!

After all the companies passed, (and I filmed, while simultaneously waving TWO POSTERS that I hoped my NC would recognize), I ventured down toward the Plain to catch them again. Luckily, there were times that I could walk faster than the whole gang, so I got to attempt to find my NC several more times, to no avail. I must've caught up enough to watch his company pass by about 4 more times, but could not see my NC. I was pretty sure they must've left him for dead along the highway. It was practically impossible to tell them apart....I don't know if you noticed, but they dress alike!!!! :) With the helmets on, it's just about impossible to tell the difference.

HOWEVER, even though I braced myself for the distinct possibility that I would travel all that way and not find my NC, I was determined to have eye contact with him even if I had to walk straight up to them individually and lift up their helmets a little until I found my NC. I figured it was worth his doing a few push-ups! (Just Kidding Mary Kay!)

Then they lined up in order of company on the Plain and then sat down and ate voraciously! I've never seen such silent scarfing!!! They ate for quite a while!

Then I spotted him and he clearly spotted me! He gave me a wave and a "heart thump" and a HUGE GRIN because he hadn't expected me. Some of the New Cadets shouted as a group, "Hi, Mrs. "X" (particular name) and then all dropped to do the push ups together! (Apparently, I didn't rank high enough for THAT!!!) :)

I just filmed him eating and sitting and talking for a while, and he kept looking back at me, smiling, waving periodically. I tried to film a lot of members of his company since I'm sure they've grown so tight. So, I filmed and filmed and filmed. Basically, I have about 20 minutes of my kid eating a sandwich! I'm thrilled to have every minute! (I've watched it twice already since I arrived home. Don't tell!)

Then they stood and chanted and sang and got "psyched up" and competed in volume, etc. It was AWESOME! I saw some funny antics. They all seemed so incredibly proud and very much bonded.

Then they picked up their stuff, reorganized into their new companies and marched off. My NC and I never spoke, but it was awesome to connect. It was a huge booster for ALL of us. I think we all felt the relief of Beast being over! There was collective pride, to be sure!

What a day! I am so grateful to my travelling companions. I am so thrilled that I was there. Just Incredible!!! I can't wait until Saturday!

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