Cadet Glenna

First of all, Glenna would hate that I’m writing this. She would roll her eyes and tell me to stop being so emotional. Classic Glenna. But she’s too busy doing push ups to read it so I’m not too worried.

For those of you who don’t know Glenna or are a little bit out of the Miller loop, she’s currently out in Colorado Springs, CO at the US Air Force Academy for Basic Training (BCT). As far as I can tell, there’s a lot of yelling, push ups are in high demand, and the Basic Cadets are getting very little sleep (I’m sure there’s more to it than that…but you get the idea). It’s always been Glenna’s dream to join the Air Force by way of the Academy and to go on to become a flight surgeon so we are all beyond proud of her for persevering to pursue this goal.

Basic Cadet Glenna Miller — Photo from USAFA Webguy (Association of Graduates)

So we miss Glenna like crazy — I think we always knew that we would. But it’s been even harder than I expected (and I’m not the one doing push ups…). It’s not like Glenna and I talked every day before she left; we didn’t chat on the phone very often and, even though she was at school 25 minutes down the road in Virginia, we only saw each other about once a month. So what’s the big deal?

Glenna is the family comedian and, if we’re being honest, the thing I miss the most is her daily presence in our family group text: Fab 7 Once Again (don’t ask…). That, and her absurd snapchats (see Exhibit A). It felt like we were in constant contact with Glenna because she was frequently recounting hilarious stories from school including the many mishaps and adventures that surely only take place when you’re Glenna Miller. The group text hasn’t ceased to exist but we’re a lot less fun without Glenna (sorry y’all…).

Exhibit A: Not an unusual snap for G.

I also miss seeing her on the weekends. Like I mentioned, we didn’t see each other every week but it was a blessing to have Glenna in Virginia with me even just for a year! She didn’t have a car at school so I would (sometimes begrudgingly) drive to Newport News, pick her up, and we’d have dinner close to campus. Usually, Spencer was quick to start prying information out of her and we’d all end up in tears laughing at Glenna’s stories. It was so much fun to watch her jump into college life head first, play for the club volleyball team, join a sorority, make tons of friends, and figure out that military life really was what she wanted most. I took it for granted at the time but man am I happy that she chose CNU for a year.

I’ll admit — it makes me incredibly nervous that Glenna’s decided to join the military. Besides the what-I’m-assuming-is-normal anxiety surrounding general military service, war, and potential deployment down the road, I’m just nervous that Glenna will come home for Thanksgiving and be less Glenna. I want the weird, hilarious, outspoken, blunt Glenna that left in June. But the more I think about that, the more I realize how selfish that expectation really is. Clearly, joining the military is just as much Glenna as any of her other traits or quirks and clearly, joining the military will change Glenna. I just pray that my perception of these changes will be positive and that I can let my other dominant emotion (pride) shine through when I finally get to see her!

I’m so proud of her. I can only imagine how my parents feel, having raised such a talented, strong-willed, determined, intelligent human (because let’s be honest, you don’t see Kailey and me rushing out to join something that requires such intense physical or mental strength). When I look at pictures online (at least once every day), I’m always excited to show my friends how tough Glenna is or how great she looks in a uniform. In each letter that I write, I try to remind her how much love and support she has from across the country because she’s clearly killing the BCT game and, if she can do that, she’ll undoubtedly flourish over the next four years and beyond!

// Thank you, USAFA Webguy for all of the pictures of Cadet Glenna! Seriously, what we do if we couldn’t see what she was doing all day, every day?! //

If you’re more intrigued than ever about what deceptively looks like a get-in-shape-quick summer camp, here are some additional updates about Glenna and BCT (from her letters and brief communication):

  • She has friends. They help her do push ups when she’s struggling and make her laugh during meals, which is apparently frowned upon.
  • She’s playing volleyball. It sounds like the coach recognizes that she’s tall and athletic (and she has a state championship ring, hello!) so we’ll see what happens from here!
  • She hates push ups. I don’t think this requires an explanation — they don’t let her do “the girl kind”.
  • She enjoyed a 4-mile run. Weird. This does require an explanation, I just don’t have one. Reminder: she’s in the mountains. 
  • She’s loud. Legend has it she got herself into some trouble for responding to one of her cadre (they’re in charge) so loudly that she made him spill his drink…that’s our Glenna!

Moral of the story: I am so proud of you, G! I miss and love you tons and can’t wait until you’re back in the Snapchat/family text/any-communication-at-all game (so, so soon!). 

Want to write Glenna a letter and make her day?! My parents, Kailey, or I would be happy to share her address with you. You can also follow more of BCT here!

3 thoughts on “Cadet Glenna

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  1. Oh Courtney, I loved this! I can see your wit and love shining through! I hope,you continue doing this as we think of Glenna often! We are so proud of her, too!


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