My daughter graduates High School tomorrow and is scheduled to ship to Basic training on 2 July. As a father I am pleased with her graduation and applaud her choice to go into the Army in the footsteps of her Father. I know the risks of deployment for her with her unit and accept that she knows I will worry about her no matter what course she takes.
I haven’t heard much about Cindy Sheehan lately … she lost her son to the war in Iraq and used that loss as a platform for political activism. I don’t care for her methods, but I understand the parental desire to nurture and protect loved ones and resist their exposure to danger and I'm sad she felt the loss for a cause she does not support.
It’s a fine line to walk – support the service to country and wish the best for your child. In my case – I know the experience the Army will provide will make my daughter a stronger, more confident individual. The experience will serve her for years into the future. If she is deployed, I will send her boxes of support and never let her think I waiver in my wholehearted support of what she is doing to serve her country. As with any soldier – we serve Civilian authority – which is not always infallible – but with our efforts intended to provide for our countrymen – there are few higher callings.
So with that – we’ll celebrate the graduation – we will have our tearful goodbyes as she heads to Ft Leonard Wood for Basic Training and AIT. She will come back in the winter and start school a changed individual – putting forth a desire to serve that noble calling with her Reserve Unit and as her Father – I couldn’t be more proud. With that comes the specter of deployment and there again I will be the proud and worried dad – but I know the price of Freedom is not cheap and I would be a hypocrite if I was not supportive of my little soldier.