I am stepping away from my usual blog today to congratulate my daughter Lauren, who, as she puts it, "is no longer a child officer in the Navy." Yesterday, Lauren received her silver Lieutenant bars (see attached photo zooming in on her Lt. bars). Four years ago, she graduated from the United States Naval Academy as an Ensign assigned to Surface Warfare. (Attached is a photo of her graduation from the Naval Academy that was taken by the White House photographer and posted on the White House website). Two years later, she was promoted to Lt. junior grade; she served two tours to the Middle East (attached is her hugging her mother after her return from the second deployment) and I got to join her on her ship for eight days as it returned from her first deployment. She is now assigned to Fort Meade in Maryland. So, twenty six years old, and already lived in San Diego, CA and Chesapeake Beach, VA as well as being around the world (first deployment from the Pacific and the second from the Atlantic). Congratulations, Lauren, I know that it has been a very challenging eight years, but thank you for all that you have sacrificed over those eight years.