Graduation 2019! Just four short years ago, we were celebrating with our soon to be cadets the news of their offers of appointment to the United State Air Force Academy (USAFA). Some of us were anxiously awaiting news about a medical waiver from DoDMERB. While others of us got the surprise offer of an appointment for our child AFTER initially being told that they would not be offered appointment. All our cadets had different paths to claiming their seat on the bus at Doolittle Hall on June 25, 2015. But one thing we had in common then, as now, is we have been bound together as USAFA families. Conquer Mind, Conquer All! From that first proud and tearful day when we dropped them off for Basic Cadet Training (BCT) we have supported our cadets, and each other, through every milestone. It has not always been easy, for them or us, but then nothing worth having in life is. From the hot, physical challenges of Jacks Valley to the long-awaited Recognition and our virtual toast in their honor, our cadets survived their C4C year. We all waited in anticipation to hear about their Exemplar selection C3C year and all agreed that Neil ArmSTRONG was the perfect match for this class! The next year, C2C, brought them to their half-way point. Our cadets came back from their Summer Ops with a renewed passion for their decision to remain at USAFA and sign their formal commitment to the next seven plus years of service. And with that, came Commitment Dinner with their Legacy class, the third challenge coin that our Spirit Committee designed, with funds gifted by each of you! That C2C year also brought the unveiling of their 2019 class crest and the celebration of getting their class rings at Ring Dining Out and Ring Dance. This year, our cadets celebrated 100’s Night with dinner, a weekend off, and coming back to seeing their rooms decorated in their honor. At this point, our cadets have earned the rights to be honored by their wing. Together, we have watched our sons and daughters grow up into STRONG, confident, and capable men and women ready to serve our country. This class has broken records, won numerous awards in the classroom, on the athletic fields, and in community, national, and international events. Now, the final milestone looms before us. Our Firsties jumped into the fountains after their last class was over…STRONG. In 30 degree weather, Polar Plunge style STRONG! In just a few short weeks, our cadets will graduate and be commissioned as 2d Lt’s in the world’s greatest Air Force. There will be numerous awards ceremonies, air shows, parades, receptions, and commissioning ceremonies. And of course, there will be a graduation like no other! Then, after the hat toss and the Thunderbirds show, right before our eyes, our cadets will move on from being USAFA cadets to serving as United States Air Force Officers joining the long blue line. They have come a long way, baby!