Military service is no rarity in my family. My Grandfather served in the Civil Air Patrol, some of my great-uncles served in the Army and Marines during WWII in the European and Pacific theaters respectively; other uncles have served in the Navy, Army, and Coast Guard; cousins have served in the Navy, Army, and National Guard; my father and father-in-law both served in the Navy during the Korean War; and last but not least, my husband served in the Navy as a pilot just as the Vietnam War came to a close.
We have photos and stories and relics from all those men's service - it was just a given part of the life of our family. So, why were John and I so surprised that 3 out of 4 of our children have chosen life in the military? John especially was always careful to impress upon the kids that they shouldn't do something just because he had done it. That kind of pressure on a child never ends up well! But, we finally concluded that, really, it was just natural that they made the decisions they did. So I'm celebrating their decisions by sporting a 3-star Service Flag on the back of my car, and it just amazes me each time I look at it!The most recent addition to this military tradition is son, Justin, who graduated from Army Boot Camp at Ft. Benning, Georgia just this past Thursday. Justin had spent his last few years reveling in the academic areas of language and Biblical studies and spent the bulk of his college studies in these areas. We had fully expected him to combine these affections and go into education. But, he didn't - he enlisted in the Army! After the shock subsided, it began to slowly dawn on me just what he did during his entire childhood and high school years - playing soldier! He read about military actions and heros of all eras. He had collected gear from WWII, made his own chain mail, shields, and other knightly wear, and became a Civil War re-enactor. He loved it! And now he's a real soldier, and we are proud of him!
Daughter Kristin has loved history since she knew history existed! In particular she has had great affection for the Civil War era and became not only a re-enactor, but a docent, National Battleground Park tour guide, and researcher of one of the great Southern generals, Hiram Grandbury. Now she is married to her own soldier/soon-to-be-chaplain and will be serving her country along with her sons as a military family. We are proud of her and her soldiers!
Eldest son, Eric, serves in the USMC as a Harrier pilot, recently completing a tour in Afghanistan where he was an integral part of the Marjah Offensive. He spent his teenage years competing with his horses, but ultimately decided to take the path of an earlier interest - his love of aircraft and flying. He, along with wife Kelly and son Omari serve their country as the best of Marine families. We are proud of them.And finally, daughter Katie. Will she, too, join this little group of 3 service stars? Nah..... but we wouldn't be surprised is she's the kind of star who entertains those service stars! And we're just as proud of her, too!