a USAF weapons officer


The weekend of June 17th was one to remember.  As many know, I flew to Vegas for Patrick's WIC graduation. Amongst all the hype of it being my first trip to Vegas- the excitement the city itself brings, the flashy casinos, delicious food options, and all levels of fashion, I have to mention that the city did not disappoint.  Before the graduation festivities began, Patrick and I had the chance to go out and explore Vegas.  We met up with some friends, gambled, and had ourselves a merry good time.  You really do lose track of time there, as I am sure there is so much more to see.  I foresee many trips in the future to tap into all that the city has to offer. 

Before all the hype of exploring the city began, Patrick attended patch night the evening I flew in.  Patch night is one for the books.  It's the night you receive your graduate patch.  As a weapon's officer, you earn the right to wear your graduate patch in place of the American flag--normally worn on the flight suit's left shoulder.

Patrick has always had a humble spirit.  Despite the difficult situations his job often leads him to, resulting in awards he doesn't often mention, he holds a gentle, unselfish demeanor that I have always admired. Having attended the event, Patrick walked into the hotel room holding the same gentle poise I know him to carry. Yet now, he stood a weapons officer.  He wears a patch many admire and look up to. It gives me more reason to admire my husband.

A little 101 on the course that Patrick took this past six months—WIC(Weapons Instructor Course) is a course that provides advanced training in weapons and tactics employment to officers of the combat air forces.  The weapons schools include the weapons instructor courses for several aircraft and systems of the USAF, one of them being the C-17 Globemaster III.  The course itself is extremely difficult, as the original number of undergraduates for this class stood at 118, and 96 of these men and women graduated on Saturday.   The current number of C-17 weapons officers is less than 100.  Patrick is number 96.



Facts and statistics of the course alone bring forth a pride I cannot describe.  As I watched him walk on the stage, accept his diploma, and ultimately become one of the elite few who hold a prestigious title, I proudly cheered him on. There have been many moments within my husband’s career thus far that I have been proud.  Those that include becoming an USAF officer, and the pinning of his wings at pilot training.  But this moment topped it all.   

In honesty--Yes, the past six months have been hard. And it’s been difficult at times to acknowledge or see what he has gone through to get to that moment Saturday night.  As he stood in line to receive his diploma, I could not help to reflect, yet again, what we’ve done to get to this moment. Regretfully, my own experiences have at times masked the severity of his.  However, in that moment, as his name was called, I saw the beauty of his hard work.  It resulted in an indescribable pride.  

Many photos were taken to capture such a prestigious moment in Patrick's career.  Here are a few taken after the ceremony. 



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