April 29th 2003. The day that both my mum and dad told me they were proud of me on the same day, which was the first that I can remember.
I can still remember how nervous we all were when we were waiting to be called to attention at our graduation ceremony, from Basic Training upon joining the Royal Air Force. Such a proud moment. The only thing we had to do for the next hour or so (Felt like a blasted lifetime!) was focus and DON’T GET IT WRONG!
The order flicked a switch inside and I went from being Darren Robinson to, well…. something!
I’m not too sure of the ensuing commands and ceremony. It was a moment that I wanted to perform at my best, knowing that my parents wouldn’t care about any of the 50 or so others around me. Their eyes would be on ME.
I knew I looked the part. Shoes were gleaming, my brass buttons looked like miniature suns on the blue-grey background of my jacket, pressed within an inch of its life!
The ache from carrying the rifle faded into the never never of my senses as I focused on my movements being sharp and concise. Come what may, I didn’t want to let my private audience down!
I’ll never forget the feeling of elation when the parade was dismissed. Maybe I can write a blog about Basic Training further down the line. It was a big changing point in my life, sharing a room with 17 other guys from all over the U.K. The feeling, though, of both of your parents being proud of you for something you’ve worked so hard to achieve was definitely one of the biggest defining points of my life!