Believe it or not, it has now been ten weeks since my first post. My time at the FBI National Academy is now complete, Session #246 has come and gone. Tracy, James, and Mom and Dad flew in to Reagan airport Thursday afternoon and I met them at our hotel. I cannot tell you how great it was to see my wife and son and know that this time, when it was time for them to leave, I was going with them.
The weather took a dramatic turn on the same day. Thursday and Friday were a far cry from the 100+ July and early August we went through; it was downright chilly. There was a reception Thursday evening which gave me an opportunity to show Tracy off to my fellow students, introduce my parents, and meet their families as well.
The graduation ceremony was very nice. FBI Director Mueller was surprisingly personable as he presented our diplomas; several guys forgot to wait for the flash to pop for their photograph and Director Mueller would pull them back into position with a smile. He also had a quiet personal congratulations for each of us as we walked up to him. I guess I don’t know what I expected, but for someone with such an important position, I thought it was cool how he took personal interest in the graduates.
I did not take my camera to graduation (Greg from Hawaii did, it was pretty funny when he photographed himself right before he walked up to Director Mueller). We got some pictures around campus after graduation though. Leaving was harder than I expected. For ten weeks I have gone everywhere with a lanyard and two ID cards around my neck. To receive my actual diploma, I had to turn in those ID cards. After turning in the ID cards, I would not be allowed back onto the campus. Even though I have been looking forward to completing my training and working towards graduation day, it was still hard to turn over over those cards, knowing I was leaving for the last time.
Today we had a final Capitol Tour. I was able to take my entire family on the tour. There were about a dozen of my fellow students who were still around who also brought their families on the tour. Going on the tour by myself was pretty darn cool, being able to take my family behind the scenes at the Capitol was uber cool.
Mom and Dad took the metro back to Reagan immediately after the tour and are safely back in Florida. Tomorrow, Tracy, James, and I will take in the Marine Corp Museum and then load the car on the auto train for our return trip. The end of this adventure is bittersweet. I am so happy to be back with my family again but I will miss the new friends I have made here. I am glad I came and I am glad to be going home.
I think I have one more post in me. I should be home in a little over 36 hours; that should give me time to think about how to wrap this blog up.