It was a crazy weekend full of laughter, remembering, lounging by the pool-ing, drinking, sharing, eating (and napping when we could).
I’d do anything for these girls. Some have been friends for 19+ years, others passing acquaintances I only just got to know over those three days. My four years as a cadet at West Point were -let’s be real here – shitty. Uniforms, inspections, Army training, classes, little sleep, marching – all of it was hard. All four years were hard. And isolating most of the time since I was usually the only girl in my engineering classes. And the only girl in my Beast and Buckner squads. I imagine it was the same for these women as well – I know they experienced similar circumstances. Which is why our bond is so strong.
The relationships and friendships that started those four years are amongst the most special and dear to me.
And it was no surprise, really, that we pulled this informal reunion off in a few short months. What started as an innocent Facebook post by my dear friend, Heather, quickly morphed into a lets-all-meet-up-in-Vegas for a long weekend. One classmate said, “I work travel as a side job, let me look into hotels.” Another said, “I’ll talk to the box office for show tickets!” Yet another offered to coordinate a large group brunch. The private Facebook group page was filled with FUN. 30-something women (no one really had a good count!) came together for a good time in Vegas. That’s more than 1/3 of the women I graduated with back in May 1999. And of my core group of friends, only 3 weren’t able to attend.
As photos were posted to Facebook, our male classmates commented some really amazing things about us.
I’m honored to be a part of this group. I’m proud of our shared experiences and of everyone’s successes. This post seemed most appropriate for Memorial Day, as all of us have put on the Army Uniform, some of us still do. And we’ve all lost classmates, friends and loved ones in war. These women ‘get me’ unlike anyone else. They’re my tribe – and it really doesn’t matter whether we were friends at school or not. I know that I can count on any of them for anything if I needed them. It is a privilege – being part of this amazing group of women.
The official United States Military Academy Class of 1999 15-year Reunion isn’t until October. We’re not sure if we’ll attend or not. And truthfully, Vegas wore me out. Next time I’m going to vote for something a little less intense 🙂 Until next time, ’99!
*Trou – not-so-nice cadet slang for female cadet. We’ve since embraced the term; I think older women grads take much more offense to the term. My class entered about 20 years after the first females were admitted, and even in 1995, the Corps still had a long way to go. #troupower #awesometrou