Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

So, on Tuesday morning June 25, we pulled out of the Cabela's RV Park in Sidney, NE and drove straight to Colorado Springs & the Air Force Academy FamCamp.  It was a relatively short drive of less than 200 miles. Another hot, dry day, and at 7300 feet elevation.  Who would have thunk it!  It was 90 plus.  The Academy emphasizes extra-curricular activities, including athletics.  Above is a story board overlooking the outside facilities.  (For some reason I forgot to get a pic of their football stadium, Falcon Field, which holds around 45,000 I was told.
 Here a few pics of these facilities.
Note the chapel in the background, as well as the dorms, and the gymnasium to the right.
Above, the practice football field.
We discovered that where ever you are on this campus, there is a "Kodak Moment".  What a beautiful campus in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, if you consider 7300 feet foothills.  :-)
Here a few pics from within the huge campus.
On Thursday morning, we made it over to the visitor's center, very near the chapel and the dorms.  While there, we took in the 15 minute video.  It was entitled, " One Year of the Class of 2014".  The incoming class of cadets arrive in late June, and for approximately 40 days, they have a "boot camp" of sorts.  And wouldn't you know it:  This morning was the dreaded "DAY 1" for the class of 2017.  The campus was a buzz of activity, especially around the visitor's center and the dorm area.  Parents everywhere!  Parents only it seemed, because all their kids were already being yelled at and told what to do and keep quiet by the upper classmen class leaders.
We walked the short distance from the visitor's center down the asphalt path to the chapel.  From the vantage point of the chapel front, we could view the large "Terrazzo", the very large concrete plaza inlayed with rows of granite stone.  The Terrazzo is where all the 1220 new cadets-to-be of the class of 2017 were being processed into their dorms, and being yelled out.  Below is a pic of the Terrazzo, and in the pic you can see some of the new cadets.
And here are a few pics of the class of 2017.
Across this grassy area the cadets were walking up from a ramp below the level of the Terrazzo after departing from the buses.
From the web:  "If any of you are not a person of absolute integrity, stay on my bus," the first officer-cadet hollered. "If you are not willing to sacrifice for your nation, stay on my bus. If you accept the minimum as your own personal standard, stay on my bus. If you are not ready to give your best...stay on my bus. (And) you'd better be ready to live up to the legacy in front of you...and that begins right now!"
With that, the doors opened, and the veteran cadets screamed some more, now ordering the newbies off the bus at an even higher volume than before.
This where "intake" was taking place, the Falcon Club, about five blocks from the cadet area.  This is where all the newbies were being dropped off by parents, taxis, buses and friends.  We saw many anxious and sad, yet proud looks on many parents faces.  We experienced a day like that at Virginia Tech about 15 years, with our daughter, Jennifer.  :-(
There were hundreds of parents and newbies everywhere it seemed, and a traffic snarl right here as well.
OK, enough of Day One events.  Most exciting.  Here are a few pics of the world renowned chapel and dorm area.
Quite piece architecture...The main buildings in the Cadet Area are set around a large, square pavilion known as ‘‘the Terrazzo’‘. Most recognizable is the 17-spired[25] Cadet Chapel. The subject of controversy when it was first built, it is now considered among the most prominent examples of modern American academic architecture.
From the front doors of the chapel looking at the dorms...
The path from visitor's center to the chapel...
the visitor's center...
the path to the chapel...
Colorado Springs below the campus...
And so that about wraps up our visit to the USAF Academy.  I must say that it was both enlightening and exciting to be here around the many proud parents of our future pilots and Air Force leaders of the future.  Thank you all for your dedication & confidence in our nation and your willingness to support and defend our freedom.  Good luck and fair winds into the wild blue yonder young cadets.  You have my support!  And till the next blog, (from Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, CO) RVing Beach Bums...