My last visit to Ft. Bragg, NC was with Jesse's parents (Ellie stayed back in Knoxville with my Mom who so graciously watched her for 2 full days). We went over for Jesse's graduation from the Civil Affairs qualification course that Jesse had to take to be in this new branch and to also be able to go on the deployment. Jesse was 2 points away from being in the top 20% of the class, but he was totally fine with it seeing how he finished writing 2 HUGE doctorate papers for UTK during this class. We came in the day before the ceremony and had the afternoon and evening with him. It was great to have a double dinner date with his parents of adult time and just be able to focus on Jesse. I was able to spend the evening with him so we could have some quality time together and get geared up for this next year apart. The next day, we went to Jesse's graduation ceremony and saw him get his certificate. They also had a really good speaker, a retired Army Civil Affairs officer who had a ton of experience in this branch.
We checked out of our hotel rooms and did a few errands before going to Schlotsky's for lunch (a Cragwall favorite)! We took Jesse home and said our goodbyes and got back on the road to Knoxville. I'm so thankful Glenn and Karen were there because it forced me to not grieve for too long and have some support to move on. Jesse and I have said goodbye a lot to each other the last 2 months and it was one of the hardest things I've had to do when I had to leave him, but I know God has a plan for this deployment and our time apart. We have really talked about wanting to glorify God in this time away from each other and not just put our lives on hold for a year. I have a great support system of friends and family here and I know we will be taken care of. I worry more for Jesse's safety, but I have confidence in him as a soldier and know he will make great decisions when needed. He's a great leader and really wants to take care of the guys he is around. So, pray for his safety and time over there, but also pray for our communication as a family and for our time apart to glorify God. I LOVE MY SOLDIER!!!