For generations, my family has sent sons off to war. The first, Jacob Zumwalt, lies in
Growing up, my brother and I were never told that we had an obligation to serve. It was by osmosis, through witnessing our father's sense of duty to country, that we felt compelled to do so.
Similarly, I never told my son, James, that he bore such an obligation. But I felt great pride when he, too, chose to serve.
Military service must be in our DNA. Even so, it is very difficult for a father to watch a son go off to war.
The first few paragraphs… especially those I’ve quoted above… resonate with me, a LOT. And why would that be? Well… SN1 and his unit are deploying to The Sandbox on September 2nd. It’s not like this is his first time, or anything, and the situation in-country is a whole helluva lot better than it’s ever been. Still and even: I’m a father, and Buck is my son. Worry is part of the territory. I've known about this upcoming deployment for some time now, but what I didn't know... and neither did Buck, until yesterday... was the exact date the unit was gonna saddle up and head out. We know now... and now is when the worry begins.
But, that said, Lt. Col. Zumwalt’s closing paragraph says it all, and says it well:
I shared one other thought with James. Having lost a grandfather, father and brother, I had come to believe all my heroes were gone. But I was wrong about this, too. In bidding my son farewell as he goes off to war, I realized I have been blessed with yet another hero.
What he said.Today's Pic: Predictable, this. I have a LOT of pics of Buck...but I really like this one. Not so much for who's in the photo with Buck, it's ALL about the occasion and circumstance. The Dining-Out (and Dining-In) is a fine military tradition... and this pic just seems appropriate. YMMV, especially if your name is Erma. In which case, there's this pic:
Buck and Erm... at Buck's AMMOS graduation. This year, at Nellis AFB, NV.