Well USCG company bravo 177 has graduated and disbanded. We are just back from my son's graduation this past Friday, and boy was it an experience. If anybody has any questions on whether to attend the ceremony or not I would encourage you to go, we had a great time. We were able to go out a little early and take in the sights of Cape May and enjoy the Atlantic ocean. We are from the southwest and oceans salt air are something we don't normally get to see.
We arrived at the base about 9:15 and there were about 10 cars in front of us at the base gate. I'm terribly early where ever I go, but getting there early will allow you to get a good seat in the auditorium prior to the graduation/parade. We had great weather for the graduation, it was quite hot so take an umbrella and lots of sun screen. I'm not sure what the indoor graduation looks like, but the outdoor one was quite the experience. The other companies (earlier weeks) participated in the ceremony making for quite a parad/review. The other weeks also acted as support for the graduation and yes the pointing thing was quite weird and takes getting use to.
My son participated in the silent drill team and we took some great footage with our video camera that we have played over and over again. There is a video company that tapes the event and sells DVDs, thankfully since to watch mine you need a dose of motion sick medicine. I was very impressed with the ability of the drill team and their performance given all of the pressures of boot camp they had to deal with and then to participate in such a precision group, WOW. Prior to going I searched the google videos and found the following:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3xtB8G3SwM
After the graduation we went back to the bed and breakfast we stayed in and changed into travel clothes. If you are looking for a good bed and breakfast the Mainstay Inn was superb. It was kind of pricey, but they gave us a deal since we were attending the USCG boot camp graduation. I'm not sure why, but my son's CC ordered his company to not travel in their uniforms? He was OK with that since he hadn't had on anything but ODU and dress uniforms for the past 8 weeks. We left Cape May around 1:30 for a 5:45pm flight out of Philadelphia. We arrived at the airport three hours early which sounds like a lot of time to kill, but between turning in the rental car and processing through security we didn't have but an hour to eat and to board. I think the increased crowds might have been due to lots of delayed flights due to the weather in the Midwest. One suggestion regarding rental cars, I thought there would be a gas station near the airport, but I was wrong. I ended up having to pay the premium rate since I didn't buy the tank when I signed the rental agreement.
I've pummeled my son with questions non stop and when he wakes up from his well needed slumber I'll keep up the questioning. Thanks to all the posters and their suggestions and ideas regarding the graduation. I know things went well because of your advice/suggestions.