As most of you know Rose graduated from the US Air Force Academy on May 29th. Graduating from a military Academy is an amazing accomplishment – a testament to her determination, drive and commitment. Many of you may not know that although Rose is driven and very focused she requires grounding, re-affirmation and a sense of belonging in order to maintain her drive.
The Academy has a sponsor program where they place cadets with a person/couple/family that has volunteered to be available to cadets. As a cadet at USAFA (US Air Force Academy) you can’t have a vehicle until the beginning of your third year, you can’t leave the academy grounds except on certain days, usually Sunday, for the first two years you are there, you are not allowed to have a cell phone for the first year and no TV. So, a sponsor’s house on a Sunday can be amazing break – hang out, watch TV, call family and friends, eat junk food and listen to music! Many like to do their laundry – but that’s a whole different blog! Sponsors also give rides to and from the air port during the holiday season, this can be very inconvenient for them, but a life saver for the cadets that have time restraints the airlines don’t factor in!
Rose was fortunate enough to get a sponsor family that allowed her to become a part of their family. She was welcomed into their home and into their lives. They came to watch her swim meets, she attended their swim meets and sporting events, they watched football together every season and didn’t miss an episode of the ‘Amazing Race’! She gained stability, support and love only a family can provide from them while she was at the academy and now has lifelong friends and siblings who truly care about her moving forward. I know love and friendship are a two way street and I know Rose is about as kind and loyal as they come, she says they kept her grounded, but I know she blew into their house like a sunny breeze and made dinner a whole new event!
Rose, Jim and I struggled with how to show our appreciation for their love and support. We never did come up with anything that came close, but how can you thank people for loving and caring. We bestowed upon them a few trinkets – Rose found them a wonderful clock to represent time shared and all life has for them in the future and I made them some knit baskets, but in the end we had to accept the fact that you can’t thank someone for love with an object, only with reciprocation!
Love and gratitude always