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Well, tomorrow it begins...
Unread 02-02-2012, 4:01 PM   #1
rich_one
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Well, tomorrow it begins...

18 years ago, he was gifted to me. And the last 18 years have been a blast. Sure... there have been ups and downs, but I truly do cherish every single year, month, week, day, hour, minute and second. There is plenty I think I'd do differently if I had it to do again... but overall, it was a great ride, really.

I do so love my son.

Tomorrow, things take a different turn. One that I am trying to be ready for. See, tomorrow, my son will fill out paperwork that will make him the property of the United States Army. He has decided to enlist active duty. His plan, to go to college first, then fulfill his commitment to the country.

Don't get me wrong. I'm proud of him. I really am. I smile at myself from time to time, astonished at how fortunate I am to have managed to raise such strong, positive individual. Sure... he has his shortcomings, but so do we all. I know this much... he isn't a liar, thief, hoodlum, murderer, addict, or any of these things. He's just a good guy. And even better than me, when I was his age... he has a plan. It's just that...

I should be happy. I know it. But I guess I'm selfish, you know? I don't think I have ever been this proud, and this scared, all at the same time. But this is what he really wants to do. I do not feel like I should stand in his way. He has earned the right to make this decision, even if I have mixed emotions about it.

So I guess all I can really say is this... Army... you have my son in your care now. You take care of him, and you send him back to me the way you got him. In good health. Do not send my son home in a box, or send me some message that he has perished somewhere far away from home. Do not break my heart, military. You hear me? YOU TAKE CARE OF MY SON.

I know this is stupid... but for whatever reason, this is the only thing I could think of to do right this second, to process this, as I just found out about his final decision. So, as always, thanks for tolerating my vent... or rant... or whatever you may deem this to be, CCA family. I appreciate it.

I am as full of pride, as I am fear.

See... I do so love my son.

-Rich
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Unread 02-02-2012, 4:04 PM   #2
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Your son is as lucky to have you as a father as our nation will be to have your son protecting it.



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Unread 02-02-2012, 4:12 PM   #3
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RICH IVE KNOWN YOU A LITTLE OVER A YEAR AND IVE HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO MEET YOUR WIFE AND FAMILY. YOU BOTH HAVE DONE AN EXCELLENT JOB WITH YOUR KIDS. WITH YOUR ONLY SON OR ANY SON ITS NEVER EASY WATCHING THEM LEAVE THE NEST. YOU HOPE AND PRAY THAT THE LIFES LESSONS YOU HAVE TRIED TO INSTILL HAVE TAKEN ROOT IN THEM. YOU PRAY FOR THEIR SAFE KEEPING IN THIS RUGGED WORLD WE LIVE IN AND PRAY FOR THE BEST. YOU SHOULD BE VERY PROUD OF THAT YOUNG MAN AS HE HAS HIS HEAD ON HIS SHOULDERS SQUARELY AND I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING OF HIS ENDEAVORS. SMILE HARD RICH B/C YOU HAVE A LOT TO BE PROUD ABOUT. YOUR SON IS NOW A MAN.



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Unread 02-02-2012, 4:23 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys... I appreciate it. Man... I'm more nervous than I was when my oldest, my daughter, was being born.

I know he is making the right decision for him, and that's all I can ask for. It is now on me to support him fully... and I do. I got his back, for sure.

-Rich
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Unread 02-02-2012, 4:37 PM   #5
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Tell your son Thanks for signing up to protect our nation. So we can have CCA meetings, and come on here vent, rant, or whatever you may call it and enjoy all the freedoms we have I can't say of personal experience what it feels like to see a child fly away from the nest called home. But as a father I can understand the love you have for your son. The love for a son, or daughter is so powerful that as parents we are willing to go in harms way to protect them. So be proud for your son, I know I am (even though I don't know him personally) but i have a soft spot in my heart for the Military service men and women.
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Unread 02-02-2012, 4:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyclowntang View Post
Tell your son Thanks for signing up to protect our nation. So we can have CCA meetings, and come on here vent, rant, or whatever you may call it and enjoy all the freedoms we have I can't say of personal experience what it feels like to see a child fly away from the nest called home. But as a father I can understand the love you have for your son. The love for a son, or daughter is so powerful that as parents we are willing to go in harms way to protect them. So be proud for your son, I know I am (even though I don't know him personally) but i have a soft spot in my heart for the Military service men and women.
Thanks, man... you guys are truly making me feel better about it. It's funny how easy it is to appreciate someone's sacrifice, until its one of your own!

I know he's going to burst with pride tomorrow, once the paperwork is completed.

-Rich
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Unread 02-02-2012, 6:27 PM   #7
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Rich, you and your family will definitely be in my prayers.
You definitely have a heart of gold and have impacted many of us as an absolute gentleman.
I guarantee that your son will be an asset as he serves Our Country.



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Unread 02-02-2012, 7:37 PM   #8
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be proud rich !!!!!!! as a marine of 7 years he will be WELL taken care of make sure you send him a letter with "i bet you can't do 100 push ups!!" written on the outside of the letter and douse it with your wife's perfume he and his drill seargents will LOVE it



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Unread 02-02-2012, 8:15 PM   #9
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Congrats Rich, I went thru the same with my boy. All will be good!
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Unread 02-02-2012, 8:56 PM   #10
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Thanks, Bill! Really do appreciate those comments, man. Chris, how'd you handle it, man? One minute, I am feeling so proud, the next, scared as hell. Crazy.

Ha Ha! You know what, Caleb? I'm gonna do just that! I'll let you know when I do it, and how he responds! LOL...

-Rich
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Unread 02-02-2012, 9:07 PM   #11
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Congrats. Seeing as my little man is 30 months old, I cannot imagine being in your position, my my prayers are with you
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Unread 02-02-2012, 9:16 PM   #12
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Hey Rich very well said Brother. I feel your pain,would not know how I would react if put it your situation, but know one thing, your son will be taken care of and have a very proud father waiting for him when he returns home

our prayers are with you and yours



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Unread 02-02-2012, 9:16 PM   #13
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Yeah its a bit tough when they leave at first but then you look forward to graduation day. We went to boot camp graduation, then the wife flew out to see the other graduation. Pretty exciting stuff to see the whole program.
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Unread 02-03-2012, 8:22 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone... I truly appreciate the encouragement. Today is the big day, so I expect another round of emotions once the paperwork is signed off on. But we talked a long time last night, and my son is definitely at peace with this decision and is happy, and thus, I am happy for him. It's funny... I'm the father, and yet, its my son who is my hero.

It's crazy... back in the day, I used to think I'd be a terrible father if I ever had children. I don't know... I guess the things I saw around me, as I grew up, you know? Just didn't think I'd be good at it. But of my 3, I have one in college, getting good grades, and one about to join the military and also go to college. Then we have the youngest one... our 5 year old (she's really my cousin... but we adopted her because of what was going on in her life when she was born). I sit back and reflect on it all, and you know what... I guess I didn't suck at it as bad as I thought I would! LOL...

Again... thanks for the kind words, all. Marc... dude... enjoy this time. I'm telling you now, 18 years will pass in the blink of an eye. And that cute little 30 month old ball of joy you have there will be looking back at you through the eyes of a man. And you will wonder where in the heck did the time go.

So don't waste a minute of it, man... have as much fun as it is possible with your kids. Do everything with them... running around in the backyard and on the playground... heck, on the floor, playing with Batman toys together (LOL)... little league sports... vacations to Disney and on cruise ships... volunteering... my kids are involved in my fish hobby... just everything, man. Make a lot of fond memories.

Time does indeed fly... so have a blast, man. Have a blast.

-Rich
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Unread 02-03-2012, 9:56 AM   #15
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One of my co-workers was going through the same thing, recently.

Her son, who was a junior in college, I think, was making noises about joining the army after graduation. She was scared and came to talk to me about my experience.

I told her that our military is the best, most professional, most well trained and equipped in the world. And that, whether her son chose to make it a career or not, that he would gain experiences and training that would serve him well for a lifetime.

Your son is making a great choice. It's scary for you, I'm sure (and I'm not looking forward to when any of my little ones leave the nest)...

Best thing that he can do is prepare: basic training is a heck of a lot easier if you're in top physical condition, know how to shine shoes and boots and wear a uniform

Matt
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Unread 02-03-2012, 10:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogofwar View Post
One of my co-workers was going through the same thing, recently.

Her son, who was a junior in college, I think, was making noises about joining the army after graduation. She was scared and came to talk to me about my experience.

I told her that our military is the best, most professional, most well trained and equipped in the world. And that, whether her son chose to make it a career or not, that he would gain experiences and training that would serve him well for a lifetime.

Your son is making a great choice. It's scary for you, I'm sure (and I'm not looking forward to when any of my little ones leave the nest)...

Best thing that he can do is prepare: basic training is a heck of a lot easier if you're in top physical condition, know how to shine shoes and boots and wear a uniform

Matt
Thanks, Matt. He's actually currently an officer in AFJROTC in high school, and regularly participates in drill competitions across the east coast, as far south as Florida. So at the very least, he has the shining shoes and boots, and wearing the uniform, and even the travel part, down pat! LOL... He's in pretty good shape also, regularly working out, though I am sure he will be in for a surprise in the kind of shape he'll be in at the end of basic training! LOL...

-Rich
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Unread 02-03-2012, 10:41 AM   #17
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Outstanding - that experience will serve him well.

The key physical attributes he'll need to excel in the Army are being able to run (both long distances at a relatively moderate pace...and balls out for 2 miles), being able to do push ups (and pull ups / curls) and to do sit ups / crunches. These are pretty specific muscle activities that one needs to practice specifically (for mastery). Also, obstacle courses are great practice!

20 lbs ago I was an Army Master Fitness Trainer

Matt

Quote:
Originally Posted by rich_one View Post
Thanks, Matt. He's actually currently an officer in AFJROTC in high school, and regularly participates in drill competitions across the east coast, as far south as Florida. So at the very least, he has the shining shoes and boots, and wearing the uniform, and even the travel part, down pat! LOL... He's in pretty good shape also, regularly working out, though I am sure he will be in for a surprise in the kind of shape he'll be in at the end of basic training! LOL...

-Rich
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Unread 02-03-2012, 12:44 PM   #18
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lol twenty five pounds ago i was a semper fit guru to and what mat said was spot on

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Unread 02-04-2012, 1:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich_one View Post
18 years ago, he was gifted to me.
-Rich
If you've imparted anything to him approaching your own capacity for marvel and gratitude at the miracle of life, then he's as ready as anyone could be - trust and expect he'll outlive us all.

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Unread 02-04-2012, 1:31 PM   #20
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Rich - I'm nervous for you, after reading your posts, and trying to put myself in your place. My son is only 6, but I hope that when he's your son's age, he also has the courage and brains to think all the way through his options, and to chose the one that makes him happy. Sounds like we're lucky to have him in our military and with the upbringing he apparently has had, he will have the opportunity to help those men/women that he is sure to encounter who did not have the parents he does.
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