Don’t mind me bragging on Jake for a moment (sorry, Jake!), but getting promoted to Major is a big deal. It means he has successfully crossed over from middle management (Captain) to upper management (Major). And it’s happening a year early because he his such an exemplary leader and soldier. All of his evaluation papers — reports from his superiors summing up his service in Afghanistan — all said the same thing: Promote early. Promote early. Promote early. Making Major is a big deal, but making it a year early puts Jake in the top 10 percent of soldiers. (Sorry, Jake, I know you’re cringing right now but I am so proud of you!) Jake is the kind of guy you want representing the United States on the other side of the world.
The tradition is for the spouse of the soldier to remove the old patch and “pin” on the new one. The patch is actually backed with velcro, which is just as well because pinning while holding this blond side of beef would have been cumbersome. June is at the stage where she likes to be held constantly in public.
The Major insignia is gold to signify metal that can be shaped and formed before returning to a state of solid black in the upper, upper ranks. This is the esoteric way of saying you get it from all sides as a Major.
Afterward, Jake, June and I headed over to an area restaurant to celebrate. Burgers and beer for us, mac and cheese and fruit for June and a big slice of mousse pie for dessert. While we waited for our check, our server informed us that some anonymous well wisher in the restaurant, upon seeing a man in uniform dining with his family, opted to pay for our meal. We were both surprised and very grateful, but I find that happens a fair amount around here. Politcs aside, it’s nice to know there are strangers out there who value what men and women in uniform are willing to give up for their country. It was a much appreciated ending to a nice afternoon.