Today we had our first full out practice for our graduation, which is only 8 days away thank God. The ceremony will consist of marching out in our company ranks doing various marching maneuvers, saluting a few times, listening to speeches by our Captain here at ODS (that's a Colonel for all you non Navy), and a visiting Admiral, and then finally giving our Senior Chief our first salute.
I'm glad that we will be practicing everyday until graduation because we stink. Everyone here has either multiple degrees or doctorates but for some reason most of us can't march.
During one part of the ceremony and the practice today the Star Spangled Banner was played aloud over a speaker system. Now the field where we practice is right in the middle of a complex that makes up Operations Training Command in Newport. This includes ODS, OCS, and a few other schools. So the time came today for the Spangled Banner to play and when it did all people who were walking, or marching in the vicinity came to a complete freeze and saluted the flag. The whole situation made me a little emotional and I began to realize that even though there are many things wrong with our Country it is still an amazing place to live and be a part of. I am very proud to be a sailor in the United States Navy. I love my country, I love Jesus Christ more, but I love my country.