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Aaron’s Page

Midshipman 4th Class Aaron Smith, USNA USNA

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The United States Naval Academy at Annapolis

“Home of the Navy”

 

61-61288Bill the Goat – official mascot

 

Since Aaron does not have any access to a computer or smart phone, I will post some pictures, information, stories, and tid-bits about his life at the United States Naval Academy. I will try to update a few times a week as reports come in. He is not allowed to call, so all we get are letters (old school) and pictures posted on the Academy parent website. Once he makes it through “Plebe summer,” August 22nd, he will be able to post stuff himself. He will want to see everyone when he is back, which will not be until the Christmas break in December. Until then, here is his adventure!

June 27th: Arrive in Washington D.C. to see the sites and acclimate to the weather and time zone.

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Foreshadowing?

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Someday maybe…

Smithsonian Aaron with buff WashingtonSome clowning around,

IMG_1424some solemn reflection. (Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington Cemetery)

IMG_1497Brothers, for the first time soon to be apart.

June 30th: Last day as a civilian!

Smithsonian Aaron with BearMight as well grin and “bear” it!

July 1st: The morning of “I-Day” at long last!!! The culmination of 18 years of hard-work, dedication, and dreaming is finally about to pay off. Of course, the Navy still thinks I need to pay some more…

AAron and Mish2Last moments with mom, a few tears and hugs.

Aaron reporting

Going in, alone.

Later that afternoon…

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Wow! What a transformation!!!

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Hair?

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We will not be together as a family again until Christmas.

Aaron and Elijah

I told you that you would miss him.

 

The next few days:

July 7 running 3

Where’s Waldo?

July 8 Marching 2Drill and Ceremony

July 13 Sailing closeupA rare smile sailing

rifleM-1 training

rifle up frontMarching in my sleep

July 8 Marching 7More D & C

Quick Story:

Before every evening meal we say a prayer, sing the Navy hymn, and have a moment of silence. This is always a solemn time, usually.

Yesterday, we were doing our evening ritual and all was silent. Out of the ranks someone let one rip! It was a big loud fart. We were crying and turning red as we fought to keep back the laughter. Finally, someone lost it. Unfortunately, it was me.

I couldn’t help it. I busted out laughing.  The detailers (drill instructors) were on me like starving hyenas. This is how the conversation went:

Detailer: “What’s so funny Mr. Smith?

Mid. Aaron: “Sir, nothing sir!”

Detailer: “I asked you a question mister!”

Mid. Aaron: “Sir, I am sorry sir. It will not happen again.”

Detailer: “Let me hear it. I want to laugh too!”

Mid. Aaron: “Sir, someone flatulated sir.”

Detailer: “What?”

Mid. Aaron: “Sir, I mean someone farted sir.”

Detailer: “You farted!”

Mid. Aaron to himself: What? No!

Mid. Aaron: “Sir, no sir not me sir!”

Detailer: “Everyone, Mister Smith farted!”

Other detailers close in: “That’s gross!”

Detailer: “Everyone suck in that fart now!”

All mids start to inhale deeply and quickly.

Detailer: “Mister Smith, you have dishonored these tables! People eat on these tables! In war time, these tables are used for surgery. The blood of fallen shipmates is on these tables!”

Mid. Aaron in his head: What? Wait? On these tables? I eat here!!!

Detailer: “Never again fart in this hall Mr. Smith!”

Mid. Aaron: “Sir, yes sir!”

Mid. Aaron to himself: What just happened?

 

More to follow…

I made the USNA Track Team! Go blue and gold! Beat army!

July 14 MarchingOMG, I am STILL marching!

July 14 DrillDon’t yawn!

 

Still more to follow…

FirefightingOK, on a hot day this is not so bad.

fire carryThis is harder!

FirehoseI wish we could hose a detailer!

July 15 Marching back…still marching…

New Updates! June 20th

I got the flu! I spent Sunday night regurgitating the corn dogs I ate. Monday, I am SIQ (sick in quarters) all day. It gave me time to write a letter home. I miss my family dearly, but am toughing this out. I feel grittier and emotionally tougher already. But, when I look in the mirror, I almost don’t recognize myself. The pay off is huge, so I am keeping my eyes on the goal. One day at a time…

July 20 SailingThey made me wear a mask so I would not get everyone sick. 🙁

Small events get you thru this place. We had someone on watch marching up and down the passageway (hall to you civilians) and slipped on some water from the head (bathroom) and fell on the deck (floor). We all laughed hard. One mid laughed harder than everyone. Luckily, it was not me this time. A detailer gave him a stuffed bear to carry around, everywhere! He also had to animate the bear and answer questions for it. We tried not laugh because we knew that next time it could be one of us. It was still very funny.

July 20 Happy AaronMy hair is coming in red! I look like a leprechaun in a navy uniform!

July 20 hose 5Keeping our eyes on the detailers?

July 20 hose 3No…girls! 🙂

July 20 HoseTeamwork!

July 20 getting wetAt least this is cool (97 F today!).

New Update! July 21st

July 21...Class of 2019GO CLASS OF 2019!

Bancroft Hall

July 21 CoinCoins presented to each midshipman of the Class of 2019 from the Class of 1969 (50 years).

“Another Link in the Chain”

This is one of the many things that make the USNA special. We recognize the importance of history, heritage, and tradition. No other place makes you feel connected to the past, present, and future like here.

July 21 AaronCheesy smile for the camera, “Hi mom!”

New Updates! July 29th

July 28 GoatOur mascot, “bill!”

July 28 Running 4Ahhh… finally a chance to really run! No formation around me!

Well, I am over the “hump!” I have survived Set 1 (the first half of Plebe summer), now for Set 2. The focus is definitely changed. There is still a lot of yelling, inspections, and push-ups, but we are focusing on team building activities more. We also got new detailers.

I told mom that I cannot wait for her to see me in uniform. I must admit we look sharp! I know how to march and drill with my rifle. Our company looks the best.

I qualified sharp shooter on pistols, so I got my first official ribbon for my uniform! We are doing all of this crazy stuff. We push ourselves and each other hard. Then, when it is over, I step back and think, “Wow! That was the real Marine Corps obstacle course I just did!” or “I’m working out with real Navy Seals!” I feel myself getting physically and mentally stronger already.

I spend my “free time,” all 30 minutes of it, folding laundry, reading Navy manuals, and talking with my fellow plebes. For some reason I feel 20 years older. Saturday nights are for sleeping, not partying. Sundays are glorious! We get fellowship hour (Yes, a whole hour!) to socialize and eat Dunkin Donuts. Little things make this ordeal bearable.

I got my class schedule for the fall. I validated out of Calculus 1 and 2! All of that studying in AP calc. finally paid off. I am taking Calculus 3, Chemistry, Naval Science, and English. The Academy also makes every 1st year take wrestling and swimming. I am going to try to test out of swimming (After all, I have my Scout Swimming Merit Badge. 🙂 ).

Amazingly, we already have several Plebes drop out. They decided that the USNA was not for them and quit. I am standing fast and looking to the future. I keep telling myself, this part will end soon. Mom and Dad write me to keep my spirits up too. I will see them in just two weeks!

New Updates! July 31st

July 29 shipShip training, how to properly board a U.S. Navy vessel.

July 29 ship4Taking the boat out for a cruise on Chesapeake Bay.

July 29 ship6 At least some time away from USNA.

 

plebes-sailingRow, row, row your boat…

 

Updates August 11th

aug 6 wrestling 4I’m the one in back with the cape.

Aug 6 wrestling matchOK, I am a runner not a wrestler, but it is fun cheering on my company.

 

New updates! August 18th

Parents Weekend!!!

Finally, after 7 long weeks we get to see the new and improved Aaron.

All I can say quickly is, “Wow!” He is the same old Aaron and yet different at the same time. He looks and talks older. Plebe summer was far from easy, but it is over now. They reform the brigade today with all the midshipmen. Wednesday is officially called “Hello Day” when the returning mids are introduced to the new Plebes. Unofficially, it is called “Hell Day” by the Plebes. Luckily, classes start Monday, August 24th. Although Aaron will still be a Plebe, the “indoctrination” part will subside.

TechumsaMom anxiously awaiting for Aaron’s company to dismiss him. Every year, they paint the bronze statute of Tecumseh in front of Bancroft Hall. Learn more about the famed statue Tecumseh.

Family boatOMG! He looks like a new Naval Officer! (almost)

Aaron and Curtis Mother BIn the magnificent rotunda of Bancroft Hall. Learn more here.

Aaron and Mish Baltimore-001A VERY proud and happy mom! Notice the U.S.S. Constellation in the background?

Aaron ConstellationAt the helm of the U.S.S. Constellation, one of America’s first Navy ships (1775).

postcardThis says it all.

We really enjoyed visiting with our son. It was harder to say goodbye this time. He will be home for Thanksgiving, though.

Some fun times from the summer…

110713-N-OA833-002 ANNAPOLIS, Md. (July 13, 2011) Plebes in the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2015 receive basic swimming and diving instruction at Lejeune Hall. The new 4th class midshipmen are participating in Plebe Summer, six-weeks of training intended to transition the students from civilian to military life. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad Runge/Released)

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ANNAPOLIS, MD - 7/27/10 - Matthew Verducci of Alexandria, Virginia is all smiles as he glides down a cable to complete the academy's "Confidence Course" last Tuesday. First year plebes at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis undergo a rigorous summer fitness program prior the the start of their classes in the fall. (Photo by Doug Kapustin for The Washington Post) StaffPhoto imported to Merlin on Sun Aug 1 14:36:09 2010

Members of 10th Company do sit-ups in the water during the Sea Trials at the Naval Academy. It is an event for plebes and serves as a leadership challenge. The freshman class goes through 14 hours of physical and mental training.

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“I have never loved and hated a place so much as here.” Midshipman 4/C Aaron Smith

 

NEW VIDEO!

This video was release by the USNA: Plebe Summer 2015

 

New Pictures!

I am sorry for not posting in a while. The USNA keeps mids VERY busy!

The academic year began! Classes are great and I like my professors (OK, all but one). Classes, cross-country, navy obligations, and general maintenance keep me going non-stop all week. The days are long, but the weeks are short. I can’t believe that we are now in October! Plebe summer seemed like an entire school year-long, but the semester is flying by.

Aaron NWUs

Say goodbye to NWUs…

Aaron Smiles

Hello school uniform!

Aaron with Mascot

Home football games!!! Bellevue H.S. to the 100th power!!!!!!!!

Aaron Runner

Who’s on the USNA Cross-Country Team?

Aaron Dress Blue

Dress blues at last! Sharp.

Aaron GQ

Off to D.C. Finally a weekend off the yard!

 

*My address if you want to mail me:

Midn. Aaron Smith

USNA Class 2019

M Company / 24th Platoon

Annapolis, MD 21412


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