Updated 18-Sep: Welcome to the Schriefer Blog, my name is Tavis Schriefer. Recently, my wife Jill and I raised money to supply driFIRE shirts to every soldier in Apache Company of the 1-501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. We were successful in raising over $6500 and we would like to thank everyone for all their support to make this happen.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Nicholas' Graduation and Next Steps

I'm running behind a bit on updating the blog.

Jill and I went to Nick's Basic Training graduation in Ft. Benning last Friday. The graduation was really good, with Bradley Fighting Vehicles, mortars, and more. The weather was cold, but not as bad as the previous day's Turning Blue ceremony.

The ceremony started out with soldiers launching mortars and smoke grenades, then Bradleys rushed out on the parade grounds and troops emerged from them and did a mock manuever. The speaker then described the weapons that the infantry squads carry while the soldiers showed them to the crowd. Then the Bradleys rushed over and all the soldiers crammed into them and the vehicles rushed off. During this time, the smoke grenades created a wall of smoke that the wind took right into the VIP area, and just a small amount came into the "regular folk" stands. After the Bradleys left the grounds, the graduates all came marching on to the field and the main ceremony began. There were two companys graduating, Echo and Foxtrot, each with four platoons - so there were quite a few soldiers out there. We were able to narrow down to Nick's platoon, but beyond that were not able to locate him until almost the end of the ceremony.

We have pictures that I hope to get online this weekend. We also have some video that I will try and share. They had videographers there and we purchased a DVD, but it will take about 4 weeks.

Nick has now moved to Airborne school on the same base and is scheduled to begin next week. He is joined by several of his battle buddies from basic training and is meeting new people from all branches of the service. Airborne school trains all US branches and I think some other countries as well.

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