Saturday, December 12, 2009

Test Pilot School Graduation

After 11 months of intense schooling, a rigorous flight schedule, many reports, one trip out west, one trip to England, one huge DT2 project, many sleepless nights and more stress that I ever realized was is official...Larry is a graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School.

Tonight was the graduation ceremony and Larry received his diploma!

Graduation was held at the Daughtery Center in Lexington Park, Maryland. The Graduate was escorted by both his dad and I. He had pretty good dates, if I do say so myself! There was a cocktail hour when we first arrived and we were served champagne by the instructors. After the cocktail hour, we were served dinner (both Larry's had steak and I had a chicken dish). Once dinner was over, we listened to the guest speaker, Mike Coats, tell us about his NASA and TPS experiences. Finally, the students of Class 136 were called up individually and handed their diplomas. It was a proud moment for both the student and their families! A very sweet moment in the evening is when the students presented their spouses with a rose (bottle of wine for the two gentleman spouses) and a "Certificate of Appreciation". It was nice to be reminded that not only were we celebrating the students, but we were also celebrating the people in their lives that made this past year happen! We ended the evening socializing with the other students and families.

At the end of the evening, we said our "good-byes" to many of the other students. It was a bittersweet moment. As excited as I am to be getting back home to Alabama, I am very sad to be leaving some of the people we have met. I think because TPS is such an intense situation, they students all grew a close bond. I know that regardless of where we go, we have made friends for life through this experience.

I am so excited for Larry and this accomplishment. It has been stressful, but he had such determination and drive to succeed. Proud doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about the situation. He amazes me on a daily basis with his intellect, his perserverance, his dedication and his success. He strives to be and do the best and often isn't satisfied with just "okay"! I was honored tonight to stand by his side!

Here are a few pictures from the evening...we hope you enjoy them!

Here are a few pictures from our cell phones:


Kari said...

Larry and Sarah,
I can't tell you both enough how much I look up to the two of you. Larry, you are a very dedicated person and you have done a fabulous job over the past year! We are very proud of you. Sarah, you are the strongest person I know. With all that you have been through over the are still bright, bubbly and positive. To the two of you, you are both such wonderful parents. I hope that one day I can be as good of a parent as you guys are to Alex. He is truly blessed to have you guys! Be safe coming home Monday...we love and miss you very much!

Sarah said...

Thank you Kari! We both really appreciate your kind words!