Me along with another student from my high school in Japan were selected to travel to Washington state for a leadership academy . This was an opportunity for me because it would help me for the upcoming school year because I was selected to be on staff . The plane ride there wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be . The only bad thing was that it was full of babies . In all four directions . One on either side of me and then two in front and another behind me . Surprisingly I slept fine . The Northwest Leadership Academy was fun . Before we actually got there I almost got on the wrong bus , one bus was for just plain ROTC and the other was for JROTC . Had I got on the wrong bus I would have been recruited into the army . Other than that I really enjoyed myself .
I didn’t know that Area 13 expanded all the way to the US . I was only aware of the units in Japan . It was a whole week long . The longest I had been away from my mom in another country . At my graduation I cried because I couldn’t find my mom and my brother and I thought that they got held up in Texas because that’s the last place I heard they were in when I called my aunt . I was kind of hoping that I would be able to talk to my mom on the night we were able to call home . When my platoon got called for Honor Platoon that’s when I saw my family . They had came all the way from Japan to see me . After the ceremony my I received a certificate and a leadership cord for the other side of my uniform , so now I have two . When my mom took my certificate she saw that the date was wrong . Instead of it saying June 27 , 2010 it said June 26 , 2010 . She figured that because my brother went last year that they just changed the name and signed it again . So when everybody was waiting and saying bye to get on the bus I was waiting to get another certificate . It was cool though because I got to meet the Area Thirteen manager , Daniel L. Wenceslao , and that’s a real honor . Last year he came to our school for our AMI , Annual Military Inspection , I got to meet him then but not up close and personal . He only travels to Japan every four years .
After that was all said and done me , my brother and my mom went to an Olive Garden . I haven’t been there in about 9 years . It was sad because we were all so tired that we barely ate our food . We took it to go and ended up going to the hotel . The hotel we stayed at was being used for a dance compotitions . They were walking around with there small cheer bags and what not and I had my giant green Seabag . Walking around the airport with it was rediculous . On the way back to Michigan , where we were going to visit family and return to my two smaller sisters , things got a little complicated . I thought that I was going to be with my mother and my brother the whole time , so I would have nothing to worry about . But no . My mom thought that she could take my flight and that I could ride with my brother so I wouldn’t be alone . The airport wouldn’t allow it so we had to be split up again . I was stuck with a 48 lb bag on my back and I myself at 5.5 and weighing 120 lbs , you can only imagine what that looked like .
At first I thought I had to stand in a long line because I had to pay for my extra bag . So that’s exactly what I did . And I stood in line for about a half an hour and then then a lady came and told me that this line was for people who have special needs , i.e. wheelchair assistance , packages . So I got out of line . And then I went to the ticket kiosk , like she had told me but when I went there it kept asking me for a confirmation number and the one I had , I thought that I could only use it that one time in Japan , so I stood back in the same line , only to find out that I had it the whole time , when I was standing in yet another line . So that was crazy .
When I had finally passed through all of the security checkpoints , I went to grab something to eat . I almost missed my flight , because by the time I had gotten there they had closed the gates and finished boarding . But apparently I wasn’t the only one . There were other people who had pre booked tickets and weren’t on the plane . When I got on , all of the overhead compartments were taken . So my carry on had to be put someplace else .
Once again , it was a baby flight . Only this time there was one baby . But the guy behind me , he was a marine . Which was kind of ironic , because I had just come from a boot camp with ten marines . I was kind of sick of them . But it was fine , he wasn’t talking to me . Just to the two women on either side of him . I tried to watch the movie . But I didn’t have any headphones and they wouldn’t let me buy them with a twenty so I was out of luck . I ate my food and went to sleep , I woke up and I ate , and played on the computer . Then went back to sleep on and off .
When the plane landed the marine behind me called his mother . She told him that his wife had a baby . Which is around the same time that he announced that he was a dad and that the baby’s name was Abraham Michael Antonio Hurt , Baby Aby . The whole plane clapped . It was fun . Everyone was congratulating him so I never got a chance to . I got off the plane only to get on another one . When I was checking the flight board the Sargent Hurt , the new dad , was standing by me , which is when I got to say congratulations . I felt nice .
The other plane ride wasn’t so bad . When I got off I was only by myself for a fifteen minutes . Then my cousin got there . I went to buy some juice and the clerk asked me if I was in the military , I’m guesinng because of my bulbous sea bag . When my mom and brother got there all we had to do was get in the car and go home . I was glad , I was so tired , of airplanes , babies , marines . Which is funny because my mom is pregnant and we have to go back to Yokosuka which is a naval base shared with marines . It never ends .
In the photo I am 4th from the right on the bottom row of cadets .
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