This week has been my official initiation into some of the Army social traditions. Tuesday night I went to my first 'coffee,' but it was really dinner at an Italian restaurant. I was obviously the new person there. There were only 5 other women who attended and I knew one of them because she's Jake's commander's wife. We had a good time just chatting and sort of getting to know one another. It's a strange dynamic because I hear stories at home about who cussed Jake out for something not worthy of being cussed out and then go and sit and eat dinner with that person's wife. It's really quite interesting! The 'coffee' is for wives of people ranked E-7 or so and above, I think. It's basically wives of Non-Commissioned and Commissioned officers. I'll miss the next one because I'll be in South Carolina, chilling on the beach or in an outlet store or something to that effect.
Tonight we went to our first "Hail and Farewell." It's a dinner type thing where the Battalion Hails newcomers and Farewells those who are leaving the Battalion for whatever reason. Jake was Hailed tonight since he's new. The Hail really is just the Battalion Commander reading some little facts about the Hailee like their spouses name, kids names, hobbies and former positions held within the Army. The Farewells are a little more involved and the Farewellees are usually given some sort of a gift or plaque. We Farewelled the 1SGT in Jake's Battery and he got teary eyed thinking his wife for supporting him. That was very special especially since this guy is a complete cut up. We sat with him and laughed just about all night!
So, I've been initiated to these 2 events! To me, the real highlight of these events is the realization that all of these people - Colonels, Majors, etc. - are HUMAN! I sometimes get intimidated by people in positions of authority, but it's good to be able to see them not in uniform and not being 'official.' The Battalion Commander and his wife are both super sweet and thanked me for coming to the 'coffee' and for coming to the Hail and Farewell tonight. Being the social person that I tend to be, I look forward to the many years I have of getting to go to these kinds of events.