Thursday, December 31, 2015

Naval Nuclear Power School Graduation

Nicolas' 2nd phase of his nuclear power training was Power School - 6 months of intensive classroom instruction in math, chemistry, physics, heat transfer, reactor principles, and other engineering courses.  He successfully completed the training and their Graduation Ceremony was scheduled for December 18th.

We left Fort McAllister on the 15th, and moved the RV up to the campground on the base.  Nicolas is staying in South Carolina for his final phase of training, and was moving from the barracks to an off-base apartment, so we helped him get his clothes and "stuff" moved, and he stayed in the RV with us for the 2 nights prior to graduation.

He was ready for some rest!!

Graduation morning started out overcast, and cool, but eventually the skies cleared and it turned out to be a be a beautiful day.  400+ Sailors and their families gathered on base for the ceremony.  AS we walked from the parking lot, we passed by the barracks where the Sailors have lived for the last 10 - 12 months.

The NNPTC Band played music while everyone waited for the ceremony.

While we waited, the Sailors gathered with their class sections -- friends that they had worked and studied with for the last 6 months.  Lots of  good friends in this group!

30 minutes before start time, the Class Director instructed all the graduates to line up at parade rest, and welcomed the families to take pictures.

The building in the background is the Rickover, where all of the Nuclear Propulsion Training -- "A" School and Power School -- takes place.

At 9am, the Ceremony began with the arrival of the Official Party, and the Parading of Colors.

The Official Party included the Commanding Officer of the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, Captain Kevin Byrne, and the Guest Speaker and Presenter of Graduation Certificates, Rear Admiral John Haley.

There were (3) sections of Officer Graduates, and (11) sections of Enlisted Graduates - over 420 newly trained nuclear Sailors!

We waited for Nicolas to approach the stage.

Receiving his certificate from the Admiral

It was a milestone day for him, and a proud day for us!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Going further back in time . . . Fort Morris Historic Site

In Colonial America, there was a town in Coastal Georgia known as Sunbury.  It was a bustling shipping port, as large and prosperous as Savannah and Charleston, at the mouth of the Medway River.

When the Continental Congress convened in 1776, the delegates recognized the importance of a fort to protect their growing seaport from the British. Soon afterwards, a low bluff on the Medway River at Sunbury was fortified and garrisoned by 200 patriots. When the British demanded the fort’s surrender on November 25, 1778, the defiant Col. John McIntosh replied, “Come and take it!” The British refused and withdrew back to Florida. Forty-five days later, they returned with a superior force, and on January 9, 1779, Fort Morris fell after a short but heavy bombardment.

Every November, the "Come and Take it!" reenactment is a major event at Fort Morris Historic Site. Even though Tom and I had decided to stay at Fort McAllister for the duration of our volunteering assignment, we went over to Fort Morris to help with the event.

I was in the Museum/Visitor Center for pretty much the whole day, but I was able to step outside to get some pictures a few times.

The day started with colors and a wreath-laying ceremony by the "Sons of the American Revolution" group.

 There was a large Boy Scout Troop participating in the ceremony, and between their families and the "Sons of the American Revolution" group, we had a pretty big crowd.

The rest of the day consisted of colonial demonstrations --




and music.

Tom sampled some of the stew that was cooking in one of these pumpkins, and he said it was pretty good.
He was looking forward to sampling some of the apple raisin cobbler that was cooing in the other one, but unfortunately when they took it off the fire, it got dropped and the contents all spilled on the ground.  I guess that's a hazard when cooking in a pumpkin!  We did get to try some cinnamon bread that they cooked over the fire, and it was delicious!

In addition to the demonstrations, George and Martha Washington were on hand to talk to the visitors.

There was supposed to be a reenactment of the battle between the British and the Colonists, but there weren't enough soldiers for a real battle.  We had to be satisfied with several cannon firings by the Colonists and artillery demonstrations by the British.

Arthur covered the Visitor Center/Museum for me so I could go out to watch one of the demonstrations.

First the Colonists stood for inspection,

then they prepared the cannon,

ready the weapon (cover your ears),

and Fire!

Then it was time for the British to show their stuff.

They talked about their uniforms and their weapons,

and then it was time for a firing demonstration.

Ready, Aim,


So, that was another fun day learning some more history about coastal Georgia!