In January, Zach left Jennifer in Los Angeles in order to attend Officer Candidates School in Quantico, VA. Of course, we found out that we were pregnant exactly 2 days before Zach left! While Zach was getting yelled at by Sergeant Instructors for 10 weeks, Jennifer was enduring the joy of morning sickness. While Zach battled hypothermia while crawling through freezing water, Jennifer enjoyed the perpetual warm weather in Malibu. We figured it was a trade-off in the end. On March 26, Zach was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Jennifer flew out to Quantico for the graduation, and wore a shirt that said "Marine baby on the way!" Also in attendance were Zach's parents, his grandparents, and his "Uncle" Charlie.
We were able to move all our possessions from California to Virginia before Zach started the next step to becoming a Judge Advocate: The Basic School (TBS). TBS is 6 months long. It teaches newly commissioned Second Lieutenants everything they need to know about officership, leadership, and tactics. Every Marine is a rifleman first, so every Marine officer is a rifle platoon commander (even lawyers!). While Zach spent 16-18 hours a day training, Jennifer hung out with her new friends (wives of Lieutenants) and busied herself preparing for our new arrival.
On September 19, at 5:42 PM, Daxton Edward Herbert was born. He weighed in at 8 pounds 5 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches long:
On November 4, Zach graduated from TBS. His parents came to Quantico to see him and their new grandson. Our good friend, Cara Zoch, came as well. Warrior Day, or Family Day, is a day to let families and friends see what their Lieutenant has been doing for the past half-year. Zach's parents, Jen and Cara were able to shoot guns and grenade launchers and machine guns! Zach dressed in his blues for pictures with his son:
After graduation, we had a couple of weeks before we had to be in Camp Lejeune, NC, so we decided to visit both sides of the family in an epic cross country road trip. 11 total states, 5 stops, 1 birthday. Dax saw 4 grandparents, 4 great grandparents, 1 great great grandma, 2 aunts, 1 uncle, 2 great aunts, 1 great uncle, 2 second cousins, and lots of best friends.
After the road trip, we packed up everything and drove from Quantico, VA to Camp Lejeune, NC. Zach hit a deer on the way down, and Jen did not get pulled over for speeding away from Virginia. We are currently staying in a temporary rental in Morehead City.
Next year will have more adventures for the Herberts! We will go up to Newport, RI in January for 10 weeks of Naval Justice School (NJS). Zach will become certified as a Judge Advocate and promoted to First Lieutenant in April. Then we will move back down to North Carolina, where we will spend the next 3 years of our lives! We are already planning trips to the beach, camping, hiking, kayaking, hunting, and visits from friends and family!
Happy Holidays and may the new year be filled with life and love for you and yours.
Love Zach, Jen, and Dax.