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I'll post story snippets soon. In the meantime, y'all might enjoy this:

Emotions of a Cadet:

1) Get accepted to the academy: EMOTION: HELL YEA!!!!!
2) I-Day: EMOTION: Why do I feel like I'm going to puke?
3) 1st half of BCT: EMOTION: Well, at least I'm not the only one who looks retarded. Please look at someone else besides me. PLEASE!!!!
4) 2nd half of BCT (Jack's): EMOTION: This ain't so bad. This part is pretty fun. GOD, I'm so tired. What the hell did I get myself into???? Please let me sleep!!!!
5) Last week of BCT: EMOTION: I'm almost there. This is the hardest part. After this, the rest of the academy will be a breeze. (Delusional thoughts. Probably the lack of oxygen and sleep)
6. A-Day: EMOTION: YES! I'm really a cadet now. All the others will respect me now. (More lack of oxygen and definite lack of sleep)
7. Classes Start: EMOTION: What? Who? Where? When? ARGGGGG!!! MY HEAD HURTS.
8. Mid-term: EMOTION: Holy crap! What if I forget? What if I fail? What will my parents think? Can I get kicked out for this? ARGGGGG!!!! Head Still Hurts
9. Thanksgiving break: EMOTION: Yes!!! Out of this place! Do I really want to come back? State U looks really good right now. My friends at home seem pretty happy. What about me????
10. Back to school getting ready for finals: EMOTION: This sucks!!! I don't need this crap!!! I can transfer my credits and go to another school. God why am I doing this???
11. Finals Finished Christmas Break: EMOTION: PEACE and GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN!!!! Yea, it sucks there, but that's 1 semester down and 7 more to go. Put this place out of my mind.
12. Return to academy: EMOTION: Take a deep breath. New Room Mates; Cool. Different classes. Cool. Still cold and dark a lot. That sucks. Well, I guess I can give it one more semester. See what happens.
13. R-DAY: EMOTION: I really AM a Cadet now. They actually DO RESPECT me. "At least a little bit". OK; it could be worse.

REPEAT STEPS 7-12; seven more times. Throw in a spring break before the end of #2,4,6,and 8. Throw a Summer break prior to 3,5, and 7.

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Okay, that was unfair, bordering on evil. I doubt any of you know what I-Day, BCT, A-Day, etc stand for. If you did, you'd be laughing at the associated emotions.

However, fear not, all the acronyms are described in the story. Maybe in more detail than you wanted to hear. LOL

If you're wondering about the picture I used for the cover. The triangular structure's the Air Force Academy chapel. Currently undergoing 3 years of renovations, it should be reopen in time for Ritch's graduation in May 2024.

Edited by Carlos Hazday
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On 9/6/2020 at 9:04 AM, Carlos Hazday said:

While writing most stories, I regularly check on weather for whatever location I've chosen as the setting. Recently, I've been paying attention to Colorado. Denver expects temperatures in the 90s today and in the 20s by Tuesday. WTF? I know one first year cadet in Colorado Springs who's going to be complaining about freezing his balls off this week. Really? Twenties in September? It's still summer in the Northern Hemisphere, Mother Nature!

This is really not typical. Normally this kind of temperature change doesn't happen until later in September. Also, owing to the topography of the state, Colorado Springs, where the Academy is, often has different weather that up North in the Denver Metro Area. Growing up in Colorado, we always had to plan our Halloween costumes to fit over our winter coats.
Also, this cold snap couldn't come at a better time. Not sure that it's gotten as much coverage as the fires in California, but the fires in Colorado have it raining ash and debris more than 60 miles away. The pictures are something from a SciFi movie.

 

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11 hours ago, mollyhousemouse said:

This is really not typical. Normally this kind of temperature change doesn't happen until later in September. Also, owing to the topography of the state, Colorado Springs, where the Academy is, often has different weather that up North in the Denver Metro Area. Growing up in Colorado, we always had to plan our Halloween costumes to fit over our winter coats.
Also, this cold snap couldn't come at a better time. Not sure that it's gotten as much coverage as the fires in California, but the fires in Colorado have it raining ash and debris more than 60 miles away. The pictures are something from a SciFi movie.

Part of today's forecast for Colorado Springs

Quote

For the High Wind Warning, north winds 25 to 35 mph with
gusts up to 60 mph. For the Freeze Warning, sub-freezing
temperatures as low as 26 expected.

This storm sounds like a monster. It's the one @Renee Stevens mentioned was battering Wyoming overnight.

It's starting to feel as if any location I pick for my stories ends up with wildfires. First Australia and now California and Colorado. Anyone have a place they want me to write about?

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6 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

Part of today's forecast for Colorado Springs

This storm sounds like a monster. It's the one @Renee Stevens mentioned was battering Wyoming overnight.

Here it isn't just gusts, and some of the gusts are hitting higher than 60.  Its super ugly... thank God for pellet stoves, generators, and keurig! (Cause I gotta have my coffee)

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It seems proper to share this snipet today. This is from Cadet chapter 4:

 
 
 
 
Spoiler

“By the way, Dad, I thought of you last week when we started a module on American isolationism.”

“Yeah? How come?”

“The class is Foundations of Modern America. Like most courses, it’s heavy on how the subject relates to the military. The instructor talked about how Americans were opposed to entering World War I and also the Second World War. Then the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and patriotism went through the roof. Even though we had a draft, there were a gazillion volunteers. Vietnam was a boondoggle many people opposed, so it was different.

“When he got to the Gulf wars and 9/11, the professor played ‘The Rising.’” Having grown up listening to César playing Springsteen all the time, Ritch surprised classmates when he muttered the lyrics along with The Boss. “He said he wanted to show how being attacked had mobilized all sectors of society. He claimed Springsteen wasn’t a hard-nosed conservative but was so affected by the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon he wrote an entire album exploring the topic.”

César nodded as his son spoke. “That song still moves me to this day.”

 

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  • 1 month later...

From Cadet's prologue. I hope to start posting on January 1, 2021.

Quote

“You gonna read the whole thing?” Ritch glanced right as the man in the passenger seat swiped his finger across the tablet’s screen. They had left Washington, D.C. at sunrise and were close to an hour into the initial 700-mile segment of their westbound trip. Ritch had barely slept the night before, repeatedly awakening due to the bittersweet anticipation of leaving home.

“Yeah… I’ve seen the sights before. Remember I made this trip with your brother a few years ago? Plus, I want to know what you’re getting yourself into.” Rod had volunteered to drive to Colorado with his younger cousin.

Richard Leonard Peterson and Rodney Sebastián Abelló were not blood relatives. Their common link was CJ; he and Ritch had the same mother but different fathers. Rod’s and CJ’s fathers were brothers.

At fifteen, CJ moved to Washington when Ritch’s father discovered his stepson was gay and banished him from their Miami home. Two years later, when Ritch’s parents died in a boating accident, CJ’s fathers took the orphaned boy in, and Ritch joined his brother.

Rod was reading the Air Force Academy’s 2024 Appointees Handbook. Having been accepted into the Academy, Ritch decided to spend a couple of weeks at the family’s Vail lodge before heading to Colorado Springs. He wanted to acclimate his body to the higher altitude before Basic Cadet Training began in late June. He and Rod planned to spend two nights in Chicago before continuing their trip.

“I’m definitely not cut out for the military and all their bullshit requirements. Hair, tattoos, jewelry, underwear…” Rod turned off the tablet and tossed it in the back seat. The Jeep he had traveled in with CJ in 2014, Defiant, a bright-yellow, ten-year-old Wrangler, had been passed down to Ritch when he turned sixteen. “Do they also tell you when to wipe your butt?”

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

From Cadet, Chapter 1

Spoiler

“Are you going to look at me when I talk to you, basic?” The Cadet First Class stood so close, Ritch could feel her breath when she shouted.

“Yes, ma’am. Sorry, ma’am.” They had been instructed to stand still and keep their eyes forward, but apparently, they were supposed to look at anyone speaking to them. Not for the first time that day, Ritch wished the instructions had been clearer.

“I asked you why you’re wearing such a tight shirt, basic. It’s unprofessional.”

Ritch resisted the urge to look down at himself. He had taken off his hoodie, stuck it in his bag, and stood wearing a Ramstein Air Base t-shirt. His brother had outgrown it years before and passed it down. Threadbare after so many washes, it was one of Ritch’s favorites, but the woman was right. It was too tight on him after his latest growth burst.

“Sentimental reasons, ma’am. I was born there, ma’am.” Ritch tried not to smile. They were trying to rattle the newcomers, but he was not going to let anyone see him sweat. Like Brett had told him.

“Oh, so mommy or daddy are in the Air Force? You think you’re going to get preferential treatment because of that, basic?”

Ritch decided under different circumstances, he would have put the moves on her. After spanking her a bit for that comment. The dark skin glowed in the Colorado sunshine, and she had a rocking body.

“No, ma’am. I do not expect to be treated differently than my fellow cadets, ma’am.” His response apparently pleased her; Ritch was certain he saw a hint of a smile . Once again, he thanked Brett. The Marine had stressed how important it was to show solidarity with his fellow cadets. The Academy would expect them to bond and form cohesive units.

“So which one is it, basic? Your mommy or your daddy?”

He delivered his response in a softer, more somber tone. “Neither, ma’am. My father was a pilot, but he died five years ago.”

He was thankfully left alone after.

 

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6 hours ago, Carlos Hazday said:

 “Neither, ma’am. My father was a pilot, but he died five years ago.”From Cadet, Chapter 1

 

That had to hit a nerve as Ritch lost both his parents in the same incident...

I also loved the line about Brett telling him not to let them see you "sweat", e.g. show fear or anxiety.

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1 hour ago, Daddydavek said:

That had to hit a nerve as Ritch lost both his parents in the same incident...

I also loved the line about Brett telling him not to let them see you "sweat", e.g. show fear or anxiety.

Ritch's lived in the shadow of his brother for so long, we've only caught glimpses of his life and personality. I hope to show a bit more of who he is and what he may become.

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  • 4 weeks later...

One last peek before Cadet goes live on January 1, 2021. The excerpt below is the opening of chapter 2.

Spoiler

“Crap, I hate this stuff.” Ritch slammed the book closed and stood. He needed a break before frustration got the better of him. Unable to pace very far in the dorm room and trying to give his mind a rest, he dropped to the floor ready to crank out as many pushups as he could.

His roommate, Will Bender, glanced away from his laptop and shook his head. “You’re nuts, Peterson. What are you doing? Aren’t you sore?” Both had joined an intramural basketball team and the game earlier in the day had been grueling. First year cadets like he and Will were often on the receiving end of upperclassmen’s aggressive play. Who cared if a C4C was banged up a little? It was all meant to build character and resiliency.

Ritch stopped, rolled over, cradled his head in his hands, and stared at the ceiling. “I hate Econ.” He glanced at his watch and groaned. “Too late to call the East Coast now, but I’m asking Dad for help tomorrow. He’s the family’s financial wiz.” Economics 101 was one of the required core courses, and Ritch was struggling with the international aspects of the class.

Pursuing its goal of molding leaders, the Academy strived to provide a broad-based education. Its academic program balanced Science, Technology, Engineering, and MathematicsSTEMwith the arts and humanities. Ritch had yet to figure out what economics had to do with flying planes and leading.

“Speaking of calling home, I got a text from Mom earlier. She’s all excited about meeting you.” Will had invited Ritch home for Thanksgiving after finding out he had decided not to travel to Washington during the upcoming break. “She said they’ll pay half the rental.”

“No way, man. You better tell her I won’t take her money.” Ritch had begged off from flying home due to the break’s shortness. He feared getting stuck if a storm blew in and closed down airports. Spending the weekend in Vail at the family’s lodge could have been an option, but the place was rented out for the week, to the same family group that had used it the past couple of years. Alternatively, he considered heading up to Denver and checking into a hotel, until Will extended an invitation to travel to Wyoming. “Did you mention I can afford it on my own?”

“What? Tell my parents my roommate’s a millionaire?” After experiencing the lavish spending César and Brett did during Parents’ Weekend, Will had pushed Ritch sufficiently—he was eventually sworn to secrecy—to find out how wealthy his roommate was. “I gave you my word, Peterson. You asked me to keep it quiet, and I have. But I’m sure my parents will figure it out this weekend. Some of the others here at the Academy will too in time. Don’t be surprised when gossip flies.”

“The longer it takes the better.” Ritch had been reticent to explain when dorm mates saw the new snowboard and equipment his fathers had bought him over Labor Day Weekend, brushing it off as a belated eighteenth birthday present, which it was. He did not want to be known as the rich cadet. Bad enough people had stared at him for a while after his friendship with the Obamas and his acquaintance with a few celebrities became fodder for squadron chatter. He would rather be known for other things.

 

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16 minutes ago, chris191070 said:

Sounds awesome, is it 1st January yet 😀 

I know, right? The story's not entirely written yet, but @Parker Owens, @WolfM, and @Mann Ramblings have beta read and edited enough chapters there shouldn't be a break in weekly postings. Now, if you excuse me, I have to write the section about Ritch getting his graduation ring. Not sure if that's a thing in the UK, but you'll get to read how they do it at the Air Force Academy.

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" He did not want to be known as the rich cadet. Bad enough people had stared at him for a while after his friendship with the Obamas and his acquaintance with a few celebrities became fodder for squadron chatter. He would rather be known for other things."

Of the few service academy grads I knew, I think the fact that Ritch knew the Obamas and other celebrities would be more important than anything else as they were big on networking and maintaining important contacts....

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12 hours ago, Daddydavek said:

" He did not want to be known as the rich cadet. Bad enough people had stared at him for a while after his friendship with the Obamas and his acquaintance with a few celebrities became fodder for squadron chatter. He would rather be known for other things."

Of the few service academy grads I knew, I think the fact that Ritch knew the Obamas and other celebrities would be more important than anything else as they were big on networking and maintaining important contacts....

That's most likely true! Air Force officers do tend to be uppity. LOL

However, you have to remember this conversation and the events around it take place in late 2020 when President Trump has everyone running scared due to his erratic behavior. At the time Will and Ritch are plotting their Thanksgiving plans, Biden has won the election, but chaos continues to reign. Mark Esper has recently been dismissed as SecDef, and I suspect most military officers are in disbelief, and crave a degree of normalcy from a new Commander in Chief.

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1 hour ago, Kitt said:

Normalcy from any politician is not necessarily a good thing.

Unless it's CJ!

A few years ago I had a conversation with an elderly relative about no President had ever been perfect. She remembered and praised FDR.  I reminded her of the shameful rounding up of Japanese-Americans. A degree of normalcy, a return to past practices will be welcome.

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