It was about this time two years ago that Jesse and I were getting ready for our first trip to Washington DC. My Uncle Bob had invited us to attend his Ia Drang veteran’s reunion (this is and open invitation to all nieces and nephews and good friends). Having read the book "We Were Soldiers Once", I really wanted to attend the reunion with Uncle Bobby. Being with him and his family is always a good time. Seeing DC would be really great too. Then we had another reason to go to DC and that was to see Captain Jeff Donnithorne of the USAF who was working at the Pentagon and going through a special leadership program at George Washington University. We were just pretty excited about the whole trip.
Sometimes Jesse has the attitude that we (she and her family) are all just a bunch of hicks from Okie Dokie, OK and Smalltown, NM. I think she was a little worried about the logistics of the trip – getting us there, getting us around and getting us home. She was probably looking at me thinking, "This is the woman I have to trust my life to, and Dad normally takes care of her!" What she didn’t know was that I had been catching airplanes way before her dad had, and that as parents, we have worked together on our trips. I’m not a total blonde. I do pick up a few smart ways now and then. So, Jesse was impressed when I was able to get us parked in the far-out lot, catch the bus to the right terminal, get us checked in, and find the right gate – all without a hitch. It did turn out that Uncle Bob and Aunt C. had been bumped to a different flight, but it was not a problem because Jeff was meeting us at the airport in DC. This was a relief to me as well as Jesse – there is always that fear of the unknown airport.
We managed to arrive in DC without problems, find our luggage and find Jeff. When Jeff spotted Jesse standing there waving to him, he did a one-handed leap over some fence railing to give her a big hug. I was watching all of this from a short distance, as was some strange lady next to me. The lady looked up at me and tilted her head and shrugged her shoulders as if to say, "Very impressive." I would say that was the exact description of our whole trip, but I will explain more tomorrow.