Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Patching Ceremony

After all the guys are done on the boat, hopefully completing their CQ (carrier qualification), there is a patching ceremony. The flight suits they wear have different patches on them, one being the patch acknowledging which squadron they belong to. Up until now they have all had the training squadron patch which is the VFA-106 Gladiators and looks like this:

While some of the guys already know which squadron they are going to prior to the patching, the ceremony confirms this and also gives them their new patch for their flight suit. 

Usually a few members from the new squadrons are at the ceremony so they can present the newest member with their new patch. Needless to say there weren't any members from Wills new Japan squadron to greet him, so Wills training officer LCDR Pat Baker (call sign "Chunxxx") represented for Japan instead. The new squadron we will be in, is the VFA-102 Diamondbacks and the patch looks like this:

After all the speeches and the excitement of the new patches, the rest of the night was just mingling with everyone and enjoying what could be the last time we saw a lot of them for a while. 

The Skipper talking to all the guys

Some of the guys and their new patches!

Sadly two of our favorite guys were missing in this group because they had already been deployed that day and making their way out to Bahrain. Out of all the guys pictured, other then a few marines, every one of them have been stationed in Virginia Beach….except Will. A few weeks ago I would have seen that as so frustrating, but after hearing all the encouragement from so many people at the ceremony, we are excited to be the different ones! Will and I had a lot of instructors who had lived in Japan at some point, go out of their way to tell us how amazing this experience is going to be.

I can honestly say that this ceremony was probably the turning point for me and my emotions. I needed that comfort in knowing so many people, including ones with kids, loved Japan while they were there and even missed it from time to time. I realized that I needed to see this as an adventure and know that I was about to see things and experience things a lot of people will never get to do. Being able to do this with Will is also going to be such an amazing growing opportunity for us and our relationship, not only with each other but with God too. He has opened this incredible door for us and instead of hesitating and being scared about whats on the other side, we have decided to take it full on and love every minute of it. 


"Say┼Źnara" VFA-106 Gladiators and "Konnichiwa" VFA-102 Diamondbacks! 


Caroline, Will and Tubbs

1 comment:

  1. You know the Navy sent my dad to Japan several times (for like 6 months at a time so we never got to go) and he loved every second of it. They compared him to a Sumo wrestler and he made some great friends. How awesome for you two to experience this at such a young age. I can't wait to see pics of you and all your fashion in Tokyo! ;) Love you!