Graciela’s Weblog



Pre-Mommy Military Life Meets My Children

My pre-mommy military life finally intersected with my current life as a mother in the most wonderful way. Over the Christmas holiday, we traveled up to Spokane, Washington where I was stationed in the ‘90s.  My parents still live there, having followed me up there after visiting. Hoping to get to fulfill a wish I’d had for a while, we went onto the air base on our third vacation day. Prior to this day, our children had never been to a military base. They had only heard stories and seen pictures of “the airplane that Mommy used to fly on” before they were born.

We found the building I used to work in, the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron (ARS). A young female captain who is a pilot there now was in the parking lot chatting with a friend. I introduced myself and asked if there was someone in the building who could do a huge favor for me and my family and get us access to a jet out on the flight line. She made a few phone calls and then Captain Gilmer escorted us to a hangar where a KC-135R was waiting for us to explore!

I went first up the ladder into the cockpit. From there, I was able to take a picture of each of my kids coming up the ladder – very cool.

My brother and our au pair also enjoyed the adventure.

Au pair Nansin doing something she never envisioned

Brother Ben enjoying a moment in the cockpit

 

My kids took turns sitting in the pilot seats. I showed them where I used to sit and what I used to do. We toured the back of the airplane and talked about the refueling process.

When we had taken our fill of photos, including one of all 3 kids in the two pilot seats, we exited down the crew ladder where we’d entered and took this group picture with our gracious escort.

Sato kids meet lady Air Force pilot and my "office" from a previous life

This was a wonderful day for me, to finally share my previous career and work place with my children. Kotomi said, “Mommy, I didn’t know the plane you used to work in was so huge!” Kiyoshi said, “I loved pretending to fly it!” and Milagro said, “I’m flying a REAL airplane!” What a truly fantastic vacation memory and a real “Captain Mama” moment!

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