Last week was a week that Joe will never forget.
At this time last week Joe was on his 8th grade class trip to Washington D.C. All year round his class held car washes, bake sales, a massive rummage sale, and a few cookouts to help raise money to go on their trip. It was a ton of work. And it all paid off. The trip was something I'm sure none of those kids will forget.
Joe was fortunate enough to be picked to represent his school and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Joe has been a history buff and interested in the military for as long as he can remember so this was a huge honor for him. He took it extremely seriously.
I have a amazing video of the whole thing but I couldn't get it to upload to my blog for some reason. I think the file was just too big. I'll try again later. Listening to Taps being played as the kids stood with their hands on their hearts makes me emotional every time.
In order to place a wreath you need to sign up at least a year in advance. Luckily, Joe's teacher has been taking kids on this trip for the last 7 years or so and she has it down to a science.
Joe was so thankful to be able to participate in such an honor.
The kids were able to visit just about every major monument and museum in DC and they were only there for three days.
saw many veterans tear up at the memorials,
shook hands with veterans visiting on honor flights and thanked them for their service,
They visited Ford's Theater, Union Station, and the Library of Congress,
the Holocaust Museum,
the Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument,
they went to the zoo,
It was an absolutely amazing trip for all the kids, and the chaperones as well. Todd was lucky enough to be able to go on the trip with Joe and they both had an fantastic time.
Joe even got to room with his best friends!
It was a fabulous and also an exhausting trip. They walked until almost 10 o'clock every night and they would get up at 5 o'clock in the morning to start walking again. They got home at midnight on Friday, happy and exhausted.
Of course there is no rest for the weary. Saturday morning Todd was up bright and early to head up north and plant 200 trees across the road from the cabin with Ben and Tommy. Joey was also up bright and early for his Young Eagles meeting at the airport.
To Joe's pleasant surprise it was a meeting in which the kids would be able to actually go up in a plane with an instructor. Joe was super excited, to say the least.
Joe was even more excited that he got to sit up front. AND he was BEYOND excited when he got to FLY THE PLANE. That's RIGHT! JOE FLEW THE PLANE. And he flew for a good 15 minutes, up the Lake Michigan coast, over our house, and back to the airport. He wasn't expecting it at all but the instructor handed the plane over to Joe with complete confidence.
I wasn't expecting it either and when the pilot told me that Joe did a great job flying the plane my jaw dropped. Amazing.
The Young Eagles club is such an incredible program. It only costs $5 per meeting (they meet once a month) and going up in the plane is FREE. Can you believe that? What these kids are learning is invaluable. They get flight experience and log hours for free. Incredible!
Joe earned his Young Eagles certificate and is officially logged in to the EAA logbook in Oshkosh, WI. So very exciting.
It is definitely a day Joe will never forget. He bought an aviation hat to remember his first flight ever and I wrote the date and time on the back of the hat in permanent marker.
It was a completely amazing and wonderful few days for Joey. He is so grateful for that week of his life. I know it is something he will never forget.