FORT KNOX, Ky.- 1st Regiment Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) Cadets reunited with loved ones at the General George Patton Museum on July 2 after 30 days of rigorous training.
Family Day, the day prior to the Cadet’s graduation on July 3, gives the Cadets and their families time to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company before their official graduation. One can imagine the emotions and excitement running through the air as the families patiently waited inside the Patton Museum after not seeing their children throughout the extensive 30 day CIET training.
Annette Weaver, mother of Cdt. Richard Weaver IV from Louisiana State University, says she has been waiting for this moment since the day her son left.
“We traveled 735 miles from Baton Rouge, LA, and it was worth every mile,” Annette stated.
Annette’s husband, Richard “Richie” Weaver III, and their daughter, Chelsea were also in attendance for Family Day. Chelsea said she was proud to see her little brother fulfill his dreams of joining the Army, while Richie said he was beyond proud that his son wants to serve.
Before being reunited, friends, family and significant others got the opportunity to look at pictures, watch videos and listen to Cadre to better understand the training Cadets went through. Those in attendance were shown a video tour of Fort Knox, an Army Family Strong video and a special Family Day video with footage of the Cadet’s training from the past 30 days.
Regiment Commander Lt. Col. Jay Morrison, one of the speakers during the ceremony, thanked the parents, specifically the moms, for lending the Army their children for a month.
“I promise you will get your children back, although they will be in a different shape when they return. The change will be a positive one and you’ll be proud to see them,” said Morrison.
Excitement and pride seemed to be the theme of Family Day. When Lt. Col. Morrison asked the audience if they would like to keep the question and answer portion or skip it and see the Cadets, the families quickly opted out. Joy was evident when the Cadets walked into the room and quite a few tears were shed.
An upcoming junior at Auburn University, Cdt. Matthew “Matt” Horwitz of Bravo Company 3rd platoon, was especially excited when he saw his parents who had flown all the way from Los Angeles, Calif.
“We’ve been working hard every day, so it’s nice to have a day to spend with my parents who traveled all this way to see me,” Horwitz said, “I hope I’ve made them proud.”
Cdt. Matthew Woodard of Bravo Company 4th platoon from San Diego State University was thrilled to see his father who had also made the long journey from California to see his son’s graduation.
“I absolutely feel my family’s pride and support; having my dad here reaffirms that. I also feel pride in myself. The training can get difficult, but the end goal stays the same. We’re here to be future Army Officers,” Woodard stated.
1st Regiment CIET Cadets will graduate July 3 at Natcher Gym on Fort Knox Army Base.