Since being back at Bragg, Mike is back on Jump Status. He loves it. I'll be honest, it's not my favorite thing. What was fun and exciting at 18 years old is a little harder on the body these days and i feel like every time he jumps i'm waiting for a call to tell me he's broke something or worse.
Still when not being a downer about the whole thing, it is kinda cool. Jumps are a little different for him than they were 7 years ago. He is now jumping out of CASA 212 (plane) and UH 60 Black Hawks. These are both much small aircrafts and fly at slightly higher altitudes.
Another difference from 7 years ago is the digital camera! Granted we did have one back then, it was big and bulky and he certainly didn't have it with him for jumps. Now, he has his phone right there and can capture lots of cool pictures of what he is doing--and even post them to FB and instagram in real time so i can see. pretty awesome.
The pics below are from a jump a few weeks ago done on a German plane with a German Jumpmaster. Completion of this jump will earn you a set of Foreign Jump Wings (which are apparently well sought after in the jump community). There is a ceremony afterward and each jumper is awarded a different color set of wings depending on how many foreign jumps he's completed. This was Mike's first German jump, so he got a set of bronze wings. You can earn the silver wings with 3 German jumps 30 total jumps and to get the gold wings you need 5 German jumps and 50 total.
Before the Jump
Mike's parachute in the background, and reserve parachute (still packed up, thank goodness) in the foreground
Also for the past few months, Mike has been working hard on his Lean Six Sigma classes--on top of his father/husband duties, work and college courses...he's been busy. This is what our Dining Room Table looks like ALL of the time.
A few weeks ago he finished his last classes and received his Black Belt Diploma. I'm very proud of him. He still has his project to complete to be certified...this could take up to a couple of years, but Mike is hoping to finish in 6 months. Either way, I'm very proud of all of his hard work.
This week Mike is heading to Virginia to start his Advanced Course, a course he needs for work progression, and will be gone off and on for a few months. This is a class he's been trying to attend for a few years--but has had to put it off multiple times due to pregnancies, births, deployments and moving. I know he's glad to finally go...i'm just bummed that he won't be around much the next few months. Thankfully we're so close to VA now, we can visit--which is much better than being in Hawaii and so far away!
Feel free to pray for us both...as he starts his next course and as i try to manage single-parenthood. We could both use it :)