A soldier’s Father’s Day

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

A mutual salute on Father’s Day

By Jim Frederick

As Father’s Day approaches, I am reminded of a question I have been asked many times over the past 16 years: “Aren’t you worried about your son serving in the Army during these times of world conflict?”

My answer is always the same: “No. I am concerned, but not worried.”

My son, you see, has wanted to be soldier since he was about seven years old.

As a child, when Adam was asked where he wanted to go to school and what he wanted to be when he grew up, his unhesitating reply was, “I am going to go to West Point and be a soldier.”

In 1993, my son graduated from Douglas County High School in Douglasville and he did, in fact, attend West Point. He graduated in 1997 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. These past 16 years have provided him the opportunity to do what he wants to do: be a soldier and fly helicopters. He serves in the best Army in the history of the world and works with the best soldiers ever.

During the past 16 years, Adam has deployed numerous times and has been in harm’s way more times than I care to think about.

But how do you worry about someone doing what he loves, what he has been trained to do, and something he is good at?

So again I say, I don’t worry, but I do have serious concerns.

My concerns are there because I, too, served in the Army for more than 27 years.

I entered service in 1966 during the midst of the Vietnam conflict and recall that serving one’s country was not a very popular profession at the time. I witnessed that change over the years, and during Operation Dessert Storm, the nation rallied behind the military and fully supported our troops.

My concern is that our nation not forget that those serving to protect our freedoms do so voluntarily and continue to need our full support and prayers.

“Are you worried?”

My parents were asked the very same question when I was serving, and I suppose every parent is asked how they feel about their child serving.

The truth is, I am sure each parent has the same mindset as me.

I am concerned, but not worried.

My son is doing what he wants to do and has been trained to do. He is good at what he does and, as a father, I’m damned proud of him for doing it — just as I am sure my father was proud of me.

So this Father’s Day, I look forward to getting the call that I always get from him.

Whether he was in school or deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, he’d call and say, “Hi Pop, I just wanted to say Happy Father’s Day and to let you know that I love you and I’m thinking about you.”

After 27 years in the U.S. Army, Jim Frederick retired in 1993 with the rank of colonel. He lives in Douglasville.

13 comments Add your comment

Bernie

June 16th, 2013
1:28 pm

correction

SAWB @ 10:57 pm – Have you not realized everything is about Politics?

This story shared by this father could have easily been told and shared the heart felt warmness, without the military overtones as presented. There was a point to be made in doing so. If we as a Nation TRULY Honored these Father & Son Soldiers.

We would not support our Political Leaders who are presently everyday attempting to cut Benefits, needed Medical Care, Treatment and Prompt Disability resolutions to those who GO OFF to foreign Lands in protection of OUR National Defense.

So a Change in ATTITUDE and SUPPORT in regards to this matter of cutting Benefits for our War Fighters, would certainly make this the Best Father’s Day Present any Father could ever want or desire.

Bernie

June 16th, 2013
1:25 pm

SAWB @ 10:57 pm – Have you not realized everything is about Politics?

This story shared by this father could have easily been told and shared the heart felt warmness, without the military overtones as presented. There was a point to be made in doing so. If we as a Nation TRULY Honored these Father & Son Soldiers.

We would not support our Political Leaders who are presently everyday attempting to cut Benefits, needed Medical Care, Treatment and Prompt Disability resolutions to those who GO OFF to foreign Lands in protection of OUR National Defense.

So a Change in ATTITUDE and SUPPORT would certainly make this the Best Father’s Day Present and Father could ever want or desire.

Prof

June 16th, 2013
11:50 am

@ Mr. Liberty, 10:18 pm, June 14.

So what exactly do you propose? Pure pacifism? Your attribution of profit motives for the various wars since World War 2 seems as one-sided as suggesting that they all were necessary to defend this country. Are you seriously proposing that all of our military defenses now be abandoned because our motives for battle have not been pure in the past? There seems to me to be more to “defending” this country than simply waiting until another country attacks us; and also that there are more methods of attack than merely shooting.

And I challenge you to name one war that has not been fought for mixed motives unless it was to defend against outer aggression. World War 2? Many historians argue that we entered into this war as a way of ending our Great Depression, not just to defeat German and Japanese fascism.

I do rather agree with Starik–re-institute the draft, rather than co-opting National Guardsmen who signed up to defend this country’s soil and then extending their tours of duty endlessly. I also agree with @@. This seems like the place to thank Col. Frederick and his son for their military service to this country, whether or not one agrees with the politics of their commanders.