It is still hard for me to believe that our son is a Veteran. Veterans are supposed to be fathers or grandfathers or mothers. Never our kids.
But he is, proudly serving and thankfully safe and sound after three years, one deployment and too many miles away from home.
The U.S. Air Force is lucky to have him and also two of his great friends from childhood. These three boys—they’re men now I suppose but will always be boys to me—who in high school staged strategic toilet paper attacks with military precision the likes of which our small town had never seen. With their own special redneck ingenuity, they engineered a giant slingshot in the back of one’s pickup truck to shoot grapefruit and soda cans across empty fields. It worked well until they learned about backdraft the hard way, shooting out the truck’s rear window.
Now they have each sworn an oath and volunteered to go into harm’s way. They’ve dealt with separation from home and family but also the thrill of the adventure. These hometown boys have even run into each other overseas at “undisclosed locations” and two thankfully have home bases only a few hours away from each other.
This Veteran’s Day we have a new member of the family serving: our wonderful daughter-in-law who is currently away from their home, leading a Army platoon in training.
A lot has happened in the three years since our boy has been on active duty. He married a great girl and created a real home albeit in a place neither of them ever dreamed of living. They have endured months apart with conviction and courage and in that they have become a true military family.
One that, especially on this Veteran’s Day, I could not be more proud of.