Last Thursday Dan was promoted lieutenant (see the picture here). We were invited to the well attented (more than 50 soldiers and officers) ceremony at his base. While we waited for the ceremony to start, some soldiers spotted Tom in uniform and asked me what is he doing in the unit. 'He is attending a course', I informed them. Mentioning the course number generated a big 'wow' in response. They don't know exactly what this number stands for (neither do I), but they know it's something prestigious. This reminded me the nuthouse joke, where the inmates laugh at joke numbers rather then the jokes themselves.
I fixed his new ranks on one of his shoulders and my 'being Dan's mother is a challenge' short speech was followed by general laughter. Three of his commanders spoke highly of his achievements and attitude, and told funny anecdotes to prove their praises. The highest ranking officer summarized it all by comparing Dan to the Energizer Bunny for his relentless activity.