The way the costs of higher education are going, well... I've signed the boys up for not one, but TWO military field-trips this spring. Just reminding them of other options ;D Of course, the one of my three that is most likely to want to join the military will never be able to get in, due to his hearing loss, but he can enjoy the field trips anyway.
We joined our local homeschool group to tour the nearby Coast Guard station. It was a hoppin' place, due to the Olympics having just wrapped up. Our Coasties were working with their Canadian counterparts to step up the security up in Vancouver and had all just returned earlier that day. Apparently nothing too dramatic happened... that they would tell us about. There were lots more boats and staff around than usual for our little outpost.
But what a nice bunch of guys! They took the kids all through the station, answered endless questions, and let the kids crawl all over the boats - even starting up the motors on one boat (3x300hp mercs) and letting the kids work the lights and sirens, with only an oh-so-casual, "Oh, by the way, don't touch the throttle." Really? You trust us all that much?
And get this...
I forgot to bring a camera, so this isn't one of the exact boats we saw. This is a 25 footer, and our station had 33 footers, but they look about the same. So the kids climbed in to look around, plunked their hineys into the seats, and then gave me a funny look and said, "Mom, these seats are like car seats!" Meaning, the child-seats they have long-since outgrown.
Well, yeah, honey. You need a five-point restraint system, and a lot of cushy support when you're going to be going 60mph over bumpy waves and you just may do an about-face and go the exact opposite direction... in two seconds. Yeah. Those seats cost nine thousand dollars. And mind you, I'm not complaining about that, just admitting my amazement.
I think the boys' most memorable moment was the whole discussion about weapons and pepper spray. We heard a LOT about the pepper spray, because they all had to get sprayed once in basic training and apparently that was an excruciatingly memorable moment.
It made such an impression that days later Wyatt asked me about a totally unrelated career (I've forgotten what) and if he chose that career would he have to be sprayed with pepper spray. Because that was a deal breaker.