There is a semi-permanent tent outside the division headquarters that is used during "Welcome Home" ceremonies; this is where the reception was held after the change of command. Each battalion set up a 'static display' of their colors, flags, and other paraphanelia to showcase their unit. They all looked amazing. There were seven tables lined up against one wall, each with a unit cake. The receiving line area had the division colors and even had a red carpet!
The first order of events was the receiving line. The brigade commander, all battalion commanders, new CSMs, and their respective spouses all lined up to greet everyone as they entered the tent. This was my first time to be in an Army receiving line and I didn't relish the idea of it. I kept wondering what on earth I was going to say to all of these people! It turned out to be less stressful that I envisioned, though, as folks were clipping along down the line pretty quickly. When you're meeting twenty new people in a line, you tend to keep moving right along.
Once we had greeted everyone, it was time for welcome comments from the new brigade commander and the cake-cutting ceremony. As with all things, the Cavalry really makes a show of it. No quick cuts here! Here is our battalion's cake:
Watch how cool the cake-cutting part of the ceremony was:
After the cake-cutting, each new commander moved to his unit display table and guests gathered around to hear some quick welcome comments and witness the presentation of yellow roses to the mothers of the Soldiers and their spouses ...
Nate presents roses to his mom:
And gives his father a boutonniere:
He then presents roses to my mom:
And gives my step-dad a boutonniere:
Last, he presents boutonnieres to both of our boys (who were excited to be a part of the presentation!):
After the presentations, he thanks everyone for being a part of the ceremony, especially our out-of-town guests which included his sister and her son who drove up from Dallas, his best friend from high school who also drove down from the Dallas area, church friends who took the day off of work and came from Austin, and aforementioned family members who came from Waco and Gainesville.
We were able to meet and chat with some of the unit Soldiers and spouses, which was very fun, then it came to an end ... another wonderful tradition in the Army and made even more special by the CAV.