Fort Stewart, GA
Team, once again we come upon the season to recognize our real heroes … our children. My wife, Kathy, and I have been married for 32 years. For many of those years, she has had to perform as, both, mother and father. However, it was the children who were the pillars that stood strong on the foundation and gave, both, my wife and I strength to see our roles through.
When I deploy in defense of our country, and return home, I get a lot of attention as a Soldier who is making sacrifices for our freedom. However, I can never overlook the quiet support from my children, and the support other military youth give to their parents, in time of deployment and other military missions.
Approximately, two million children have experienced the deployment of one or both of their parents in the last ten years. These youth, along with my own, brave their own battlefields. Like their military fathers and mothers, they too rely on their own inner strength and resiliency; they swallow their fears and disappointment because they know that their Soldier-parent is doing something important. Our military youth inspire us with their own resiliency.
I challenge you today – look your children in the eyes; stop a youth on the streets or in one of our support facilities … tell that youth that you know that he or she is a hero, and that you appreciate the sacrifices they make each day, month and year – sacrifices they are making in support of the American way of life … in support of our freedom.
Let’s take some time to bid our youth, “job well done!” Let’s encourage them to continue being the leader of youth around the world. Let’s show them the joy we feel when we, as Soldiers, return home and see that they did not stop progressing when we left, and see that their support has matured into a foundation – a foundation upon which we will continue to build our military Families.
It’s a relative common sight today to see a stranger say, “thanks for your service” to a service member in uniform. This month, take it a step further … take a moment to thank the child holding his or her hand. Let’s take time out this month to honor military children around the nation, and thank them for their service.
Their heroism deserves our gratitude.