God answered an impossible prayer for us last week! In fact, it was so impossible, that it didn't even make it on our "impossible prayer list" that we've been bringing before the Lord for the last several weeks...
Andrew has been "promotable" ever since he passed the board in 2006, way before the deployment. He was laterally promoted from Specialist to Corporal as a formality that did not result in a higher pay rate or even necessarily more responsibility or respect.
The only thing holding him back from being promoted to Sergeant was the strange promotion point system that the Army has in place. Contrary to what it sounds like, there is not a set number of points that you strive for in order to be promoted. That number ebbs and flows like the tide, according to how many Soldiers of each rank are currently in any given MOS (job title). So really, you just do your work and hope the points number comes down enough in a certain month to meet you where your points currently are. There isn't a whole lot you can do to raise your points, you see.
But we both just thought that it would be nice to leave the Army as an E5 Sergeant, rather than an E4 Corporal. The higher rank would look better on resumes and provide a little more income, etc. But you have to understand... that just became too impossible to pray for.
So we gave it up. Besides, he doesn't have much longer in the Army, so at this junction...why bother?
At the beginning of last week, it was brought to Andrew's attention that there were promotion orders with his name on them sitting in A Company's office. WHAT?? By Thursday, we were attending his promotion ceremony.
Such an unexpected "parting gift" and a wonderful way for Andrew to be able to leave the Army with his head high, knowing that he accomplished all he could during his time in active service, and carrying the surprise proof of God's provision on his chest!
Our God is a God of the impossible! And He still does miracles for us!
This is just before the ceremony... I'm pointing out the fact that he's still a Corporal. Just 2 chevrons, see?
Andrew was called to the front of formation and was given a word from the Captain. I was given the high sign to come up and stand beside him.
Now I get the signal to do the "pinning" as the promotion orders are being read (shouted) by a reader in strict military style.
My turn! I just have to remove the old rank and place the new one on his chest. I think I'm glad they're only velcro these days and not the real pins! Army tradition is to pin him, then punch him in the rank so as to draw blood... nice, huh? I didn't punch him. I just made sure the rank was on real good. : )
Then the new Sergeant Harper gives a little speech.
Here are the brothers in arms who've been together through the deployment, till now. These are the guys Andrew will miss when he goes. SGT Prochazka, SPC McNew, SGT Harper, SPC Meyer. (do you see Andrew's 3 chevrons now?)