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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
One proud 'Poppa'!Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009, at 11:32 AM
The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.
Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
He is the son of Melissa Libla of Greenville, Mo., and Bobby Greer of Dexter, Mo.
Greer graduated in 2008 from Greenville High School.
Through a parent's eyes
By BOBBY GREER
Director, Special Projects
There are certain perfect moments in life that seem to make time stand still and allow us to bask in the pride of being a parent. An Airman graduating from Basic Military Training (BMT) is one of those gratifying moments.
Now a highly trained man warrior, Kyle Greer, who willingly left home as a boy only nine weeks earlier with aspirations of becoming a better person did just that. In the process he made this dad a very proud man.
I have always been proud of my children. They each have their own individual personality but they do share the common traits of being intelligent, creative, and respectful to others. They are products of good parenting. Not to overshadow or take away any feelings for my other children, having a child graduate from the United States Air Force BMT has become the epitomy of pride in this parent's eyes.
I attended the June 26, 2009 graduation ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. The month of June in southern Texas is not a pleasant weather month. Each day I was there the temperature was between 102 and 107 degrees with the heat index over 120 degrees. The humidity wasn't as high as Southeast Missouri has come to know but the heat was so overwhelming each time I took a breath it felt as though my lungs were cooking! My hat is off to all of our troops who went through BMT in that heat. It's also off to every soldier serving the United States around the globe.
Even the unbearable heat could not scorch the spirit of so many family members and friends who gathered at Lackland for the Airman coin and graduation ceremonies. Every parent present had a glow about them just as I did. If you could bottle pride and sell it, there would be a fortune to be made at Lackland.
The graduation and events leading up to it is an an experience all its own. Friends and family flock every week to Lackland for the experience of a lifetime. Guests are treated to different briefings to help them understand each event. The first briefing I attended was just minutes prior to the official Airman's last BMT run. All guests were instructed to line the sides of a specific street just outside the BMT Visitors Center and scream and yell at their Airman as they ran past to 'elevate their adrenaline'. Mothers, fiances and girlfriends were specifically asked to refrain from running into the street to hug their Airman! In the distance, approximately one-half mile away, the crowd could see each flight of young men and women come into view as they descended off an elevated bridge. Flags waving, cadences being chanted, cameras clicking, mothers bawling, each flight made their brief appearance in perfect formation. This proud dad even shed a tear as did everyone present. This was the first time in eight weeks that anyone had seen their loved one albeit just a glimpse. As a bonus, the recruits circled the nearest block and came running through the opposite way. The crowd screamed pleasantries the entire time until they disappeared out of sight over the bridge they had entered earlier.
Another briefing and another event. The official Airman's coin ceremony. The airman receiving his or her coin is a special link to the heritage of the Air Force. The Chief Master Seargents presented the coins signifying the completion of BMT to each Airman. The Airman's coin is the first Challenge coin awarded to Airmen and is the foundation for an Airman's unique Challenge coin collection. When the ceremony ended, guests were finally allowed to visit with their Airmen. Witnessing the reunion of all these young soldiers with their friends and family was something to truly behold. Once again, pride beamed brighter than the southern Texas sunshine. Airmen shared their horror stories and laughs of basic training with family for a few hours. Mothers could not seem to give enough hugs.
The following day, Friday, the actual graduation ceremony was conducted on the Parade Grounds. What an amazing spectacle that was. Airman Greer's group, Flight 452 of the 324th Training Squadron, had the distinction of presenting each State and U.S. territorial flag during the ceremony. This distinction is earned by being the highest ranked training flight during BMT. Several dignitaries were present for the graduation ceremony. All present listened to words of history, honor and respect spoken by 'big brass' officers from Washington D.C.
When the ceremony ended, most Airmen were free to leave Lackland and enjoy some down time with family. Civilian food! My son made the decision for our group to eat pizza. I was amazed at his choice after he worked at Pizza Inn for 3 years during high school, before enlisting. It was his choice so we ate pizza and spent some quality time in a hotel swimming pool. I'm not sure if it was the greasy food he had not experienced for two months or the nervous butterflies in his stomach in anticipation of asking his true love to marry him, but he did get ill! He also managed to get engaged to a wonderful, beautiful young lady named Tiffany.
The entire experience was one filled with past memories, present memories, and wonderful visions of the future. I could not be any prouder of my son!
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Bobby is currently the General Manager and Assistant Publisher at the Daily Statesman after serving his term as Managing Editor. He wears many hats in the office, including coordinator of all things online, but his real passion is sports.