Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Well, after a long night for all of us, we are settled in our hotel room here in Manitou Springs.  the news reports state that over 15,00 acres have burned here in the Colorado Springs area, but thankfully at this moment there are no deaths.  They are not releasing the count of homes burned at this point, as they are trying to contact the families first before making any public announcements.  We had been unable to book a hotel room by midnight last night, even all the way in Denver which is over an hour away.  We had several offers of assistance from Facebook friends and were grateful for that.  I awoke to news that our sweet friends from Wichita, who are here in Colorado on vacation had somehow managed to reserve us the room they were vacating as they headed further west.  What a huge help that was!

View from our hotel room yesterday, the photo was taken by our friends.

Kenny, Angela and I got up at 6:00 AM and got on the road by 7:30 to head over to pick Matthew up.  We  received word late last night that his encampment was completely cancelled, and that he had been evacuated to Peterson Air Force Base with the other 230 cadets at encampment.  They were urging parents to pick up kids as soon as possible today. We got a late call from Matthew who was borrowing someone's cell phone to let us know he was OK and to provide us with instructions for retrieving him.  He couldn't hear me at all through the chaos in the background, but he sounded calm and confident.  We were thankful for both La Foret and Civil Air Patrol for keeping us informed all evening long, reassuring us that our kids were safe and they were watching things carefully.

We arrived at Peterson AFB only to discover that they had moved the Cadets from one location to another, so it took an hour and a half to eventually find Matthew.  He was being housed in the Youth Center on base, along with the few remaining cadets.  He grinned when he saw me, jumped up and was ready to get out of there!  We checked him out with only the clothes on his back, his luggage, uniforms and everything else was left behind at the Air Force Academy.  Right now we have no idea how we will get his gear, but that is the least of our concerns.  He is safe, that is all that matters.

He is one tired kid, having been awake until 2:00 AM last night as they got the Cadets settled, and he arose at 6:00 AM this morning...this after having 4 straight days of pretty intense activity.  At is 6:00 PM now and I am betting he is asleep in an hour, if he lasts that long.  When we got to our room, after a quick Walmart room to get him sneakers so he didn't look too geeky tomorrow in shorts and combat boots, he and I laid down on the bed and he filled me in on his experience.

He talked about seeing various areas of the Academy and having a chance to hear from the Honor Guard members there.  There was, of course, a boot camp feel to it all but he didn't find that too disturbing.  I asked him what the coolest part was, and he said it was shooting simulated M16 rifles with grenade launchers.  The best part was the flight simulators they got to practice in.  They also went to Fort Carson for time on some other sort of battle simulators.  Sunday morning was spent attending worship service at the beautiful chapel at the Academy.

I asked him if he was disappointed at not being able to complete camp.  He said "Not really, and I will try and come back in a Leadership position.  We did do a lot even in a few days, and this can't be helped."  He was very pleased to be selected to be the guidon for his flight group, which I was informed is the person who carries the flag.  What disappointed him?  That he spent hours memorizing oaths, mission statements, etc. and didn't have the chance to be tested on them! Haha!

Tomorrow it is on to La Foret to collect Joshua and Olesya, who I hope had a terrific time as well.  In the meantime, I am betting we all get to bed early tonight!

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

Glad you are all safe and sound