Thursday, August 9, 2012

USAFA Commitment Dinner (and Gift)

This evening marks a very special milestone for my fiancé, Dan. He is attending a dinner we have both been waiting for. He may not see it as quite as big of a deal as I do, but the Commitment Dinner at the United States Air Force Academy is something to remember and something to be proud of.

Every cadet who intends on staying at the Academy for the last two academic year (junior and senior years) must commit to the United States Air Force. You may be thinking, "Didn't he do that when he enlisted?" Or you may think, "I'm pretty sure he made that commitment when he went to the USAFA Prep School or in-processed at USAFA." Well, you're kind of right and kind of not.

You see, any cadet can choose to "drop out" of the Academy at any time with NO penalties until the start of their junior year. Since Dan is now a Cadet Second Class and began his junior year of courses bright and early this morning, the Commitment Dinner for his class, the class of 2014, is being held tonight. This is where they FULLY COMMIT to the Air Force. This means they HAVE to serve for five years post-graduation (or ten if they become a pilot). THIS is the real deal. It also means that if a cadet chooses to leave after this point, they have to pay back the money for the education the received no matter what.

Because Dan was out of town for a Flying Team competition last fall when the class of 2014 had their Exemplar Dinner, I am very excited that he is able to attend this milestone event. I may have gotten a tab bit carried away, but I wanted to show Dan how proud I am of him for making this commitment for our future and show him how much it means to me. I decided to put together a fun little basket of goodies, complete with silly tags to go with them. I found the idea on Pinterest (from this blog), but I did add a few of my own. When I gave this to him last night before dinner, he was shocked that I had gotten him a gift for Commitment. I wholeheartedly want him to know how big of a deal this is, and he has waited for it for SO LONG.

If you don't know the story, he went to the University of Central Missouri for two years, where he pursued an Aviation degree. Near the end of his sophomore year, however, he was accepted to the United States Air Force Academy's Preparatory School. That means that by the time he graduates with his Bachelor's degree in 2014, he will have been in college for SEVEN YEARS. That is persistence. He didn't have to choose this path. He didn't have to continue when things got tough. But he did. He chose this path, and he should be proud of it. As nervous as I was of being a military girlfriend just a few short years ago, I can now imagine nothing other than being a proud military wife, and I look forward to becoming just that in under 22 months!

Now, here are the pictures of his Commitment Dinner gift:

I started by gluing scrapbooking paper to the back of cardstock to make the tags

On the other side, I wrote the silly tags

Then, I gathered the goods! 

I can't forget the card...

... and the inside! :) 

It's all sealed up in the envelope! 

I wrote on the inside of the bucket so he could keep it in his room without being embarrassed. Oh, and it is red, his class color, not pink! I included his squad from the Prep School, his four-degree squad, and the squad he is in now! :)

Do you make fun gifts for your significant other? If so, tell me about them!

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