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Andy left at the beginning of November for Air Assault school and was gone for nearly 3 weeks. It was tough being without him, but I made it through. We made it through, because this handsome man graduated Air Assault school! It was his third time attempting the school (the first time, he failed the slingload part when he went through at Polk, the second time it flooded and they canceled the school.)
Andy called me on a weeknight, which I was not expecting since he’s usually too busy to talk and they had exams the next day anyway. The first words out of Andy’s mouth when he called were, “Okay honey don’t be mad but I have something to tell you…” Cue the panic. He and some other soldiers stayed late with the instructors after class and crammed for the slingload test tomorrow. As they were all preparing to leave, the instructors decided to make a deal with the students. They could take the hands-on portion of the exam tonight and if they passed, they would not have to test tomorrow. The catch? They would be required to identify all four deficiencies in 2 minutes (instead of just 3) and if they failed, they would be dropped from the course immediately and be considered a Day Zero drop (which has some significance that I cannot remember.) Every other student passed on this offer… except my husband. He took them up on the offer, knowing it would be harder than tomorrow’s test. (Why? Because my husband is crazy! :P) As he thought about it, he wanted to change his mind, but he had already told the instructors he’d take the risk and didn’t want to look like a pansy if he told them he changed his mind. So on to the test he went. He caught the first 3 deficiencies immediately but incorrectly identified the last deficiency. It was some super obscure thing that no one would have known to look for at all unless you had prepared the deficient load. “Pack your bags Air Assault (student), you’re going home.” I had paced around the room during his entire story, but when Andy told me he didn’t pass and was being dropped from the course, my heart sank. After a few moments of silence, Andy then chimed in “As I turned around to leave, they said ‘Just kidding!'” As it turns out, they didn’t drop him from the course after all… just wanted to see which soldier(s) would be foolish enough to take such a gamble. Apparently, the only one so brave was Andy. The instructors said he did well at identifying the deficiencies so quickly and was very gutsy for taking the risk. So basically, I can’t decided if I’m mad at my husband for nearly giving me a heart attack during that story (and taking an insane risk like that!!!) or proud of him.
Andy passed both the hands-on and written portions of the sling-load test (the real test) with flying colors, and we had the following conversation.
Andy: “All of the Knox students that passed are going to dinner tonight.”
Me: “Awesome, where?”
Andy: “I told them earlier in the week I won’t go into Hooters so they said Bdub’s to get me in the van. Not sure where we’re actually going.”
(We don’t eat at Hooter’s for personal reasons.)
Thanks to a soldier in his unit who bought an entire month of wi-fi and let Andy log in, we were able to Skype once or twice while he was gone! It was great to see his face, but hanging up that call sure was tough!
He passed!!!! Not only that, he passed with flying colors!
Andy was #2 in his Air Assault class, missing Honor Grad by only 1.2% on his GPA. The bad news: the Honor Grad got a pair of handcrafted tomahawks from Cold Steel PLUS a certificate for a tandem jump with the Golden Knights!! And second place gets nothing! 🙁 Oh man, how awesome would that have been to jump with the Golden Knights!! (That’s seriously on my bucket list.) Poor Andy is beating himself up over that one!
I’m sooooo proud of him and his hard work! He’s such a smarty pants! 🙂