Jackson has been looking forward to attending the ALERT Academy for a long time, and we were so thrilled to travel down to Texas recently to celebrate his big accomplishment of finishing the 9-week Basic Training program! I could hardly wait to see his smiling face again—I’m sure those 9 weeks seemed longer for his mama than for him! We all really missed Jackson and his quick humor and cheerful whistling around the house while he was away. Jackson also turned 18 while he was in Texas—I can hardly believe my baby boy is now officially an adult! I definitely shed some happy tears when I was finally able to give him a big hug at the conclusion of the Advancement ceremony!
On “Advancement Day,” (the conclusion of ALERT Basic Training) we had the privilege of seeing Jackson and all the other young men from Unit 66 do a skills demonstration. We got a small taste of all the exciting things he had been learning over the past 9 weeks! Some highlights of things Jackson experienced in Basic include training in wilderness survival techniques, rope systems, rescues, land navigation, response drills, and multi-day hiking. It was so neat to see him rappel down the huge tower during the demonstration! Wow!
At the final ceremony, it was very moving to hear all the young men in Unit 66 quoting the chapters of Scripture they memorized from 1 Peter in unison on stage. Basic Training is physically challenging, but they also focus on healthy spiritual habits such as Scripture reading and memorization. We hope and pray that the experiences and instruction Jackson received in Basic will be a valuable foundation for his life and whatever God calls him to do in the future!
Several of our sons—Joseph, Josiah, Jeremiah, Jason, and James—have also gone through the ALERT Academy to learn a variety of skills including search and rescue, and dive training. (Many ALERT graduates have gone on to become firemen, first responders, policemen, or have joined the military.) Our boys have loved ALERT, and the many skills and disciplines they have learned during their training there are priceless!
Congratulations, Jackson, and all the men of the ALERT Academy’s 66th Unit of Basic Training! Well done!
You can find out more info about ALERT (Air, Land, Emergency Resource Team) and the many programs they offer at alertacademy.com.