Yesterday the 10th was a busy day! We got up early and Joyce did her daily 3-4 mile walk while I worked on cleaning up the Jeep. The day was going to be filled with activities surrounding our Son-In -Law's Naval Aviator Winging Ceremony. This was the much anticipated event for which we had spent the better part of the Spring hanging out in Texas so that we would be close enough to attend. My sister, Lynn and her friend were to arrive from Dallas around noon with their fifth wheel and park next to us in the campground to attend the celebration. Andrew's Mom and his brother were also here from out of state.
The day kicked off with a 10:00 "Soft Winging Ceremony" at Andrew's training squadron.
The Naval Aviator Insignia is a warfare qualification of the United States military that is awarded to those aviators of the United States Navy,Marine Corps, and Coast Guard who have qualified as Naval Aviators. The Naval Aviator insignia is identical for all three branches, as are the similar Naval Astronaut and Naval Flight Officer badges. Naval Aviation Pilots were awarded the Naval Aviation Pilot badge which, while considered a separate award, was identical in design to the Naval Aviator badge. The all-gold badge was designed by John H. Towersc1917, and consists of a single fouled anchor, surmounted by a shield with 13 stripes, centered on a pair of wings.
To qualify for the Naval Aviator insignia, a service member must have completed flight training and be designated a qualified pilot of a military aircraft. Traditionally, Student Naval Aviators are awarded "soft wings" immediately after the completion of their final training flight. These soft wings are typically gold-leaf impressions on leather patches that Velcro to the flight suit. The official Naval Aviator insignia are later awarded at a "winging" ceremony.
|Andrew and Ashley (A2)|
|Soft Winging Presentation|
|A2 with New Soft Wings|
|Some Simulator Action!|
|Andrew and Matt|
|Ashley pinning on Andrew's Wings|
|Andrew's Mom getting a hug!|
|Ashley and her Aunt Lynn after Ashley received a bouquet from Andrew!|
|Brothers: Matt and Andrew.|
|Ashley, Andrew, me and Joyce.|
|A2 and Nancy (Andrew's Mom)|
Andrew and Ashley will next be assigned to Jacksonville where Andrew will become qualified as a P3 pilot.
After the main ceremony we all went out for dinner on Padre Island before returning the group to the Officer's Club for an open bar celebration. Joyce and I stayed for just an hour before leaving with the knowledge that the Navy would be providing them a ride home!