Five years ago, my son, Jordan, graduated from Army basic training in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. Graduation is a special time for the family to attend and see what their soldier/son has accomplished and what he's learned. There were 4 of us who flew to Missouri to witness this occasion; My husband, our daughter, Jeanette, and son, Jacob and me. We had a great time. It was good to see Jordan again after 10 weeks. He looked stronger, more alert and very happy to see us.
We had a lot of fun on the base. We went bowling, to a movie, and shopping. While shopping, 14-year-old Jacob saw a belt buckle in the shape of a hand grenade. He HAD to have it. He bought it and replaced his Metallica belt buckle with his new purchase. (I've learned to choose my battles)
After spending a few days with Jordan and witnessing the graduation ceremonies, we bid him farewell as he boarded a bus and headed to Mississippi to complete his training. With heavy hearts we hurriedly made our way to the airport.
After checking in, we proceeded through security. Shoes, nail clippers, keys, watches and anything else that would set off the alarm were put in bins to go through the x-ray machine. I was a little nervous to go through the scanner since I had been wanded at the Salt Lake Airport and then, while driving on to the base, they flagged us down to let us know we had set off the radioactive alarm. After trying to figure out why that would happen, we determined it was because of a thallium stress test I had had a few weeks prior. I was ready with my schpeel to let the authorities at the airport know why I "radiated". I went through first without incident. Jeanette came behind, then Jacob, then the Hubs. Soon, the officer looking at the x-ray screen called other officers to look at the screen. By this time I was concerned about what they were observing and then it hit me. The belt buckle!
Before I could say anything, the officers very slowly and carefully advanced the bin containing the curious object. They stood back a bit as it came out of the machine. The supervisor, who looked like Carl Winslow from Family Matters, reached in the bin and retrieved the contraband.
He sauntered over, with device in hand, looked at Jacob and said, "Hey, Slick! Is this yours?"
Jacob sheepishly answered in the affirmative.
"Carl" then barked good-naturedly, "You want to give us all a heart attack?"
After boxing up the device and putting it through the luggage scanner, we proceeded to the departure gate.
If you have to travel this weekend, be sure to leave your hand grenade at home!
To all my wonderful friends,
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!