FORT POLK, La. (/11/2012) – Soldiers and their families are no
strangers to sacrifice. The demanding needs of the job can ask them
to be gone for weeks or more at a time, and especially around
holidays, these sacrifices can seem a little more challenging.
June 11, 2012 - No matter where in the
world they may be, soldiers never forget their families, especially
around the holidays. This year, Father's Day for 2/7 IN, 1st HBCT,
is a day for reflection, appreciation and training. Photo by Army
Staff Sgt. Christopher Blakeslee
As soldiers with 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Third
Infantry Division, prepare for a possible deployment by
training at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort
Polk, Louisiana, the fast tempo makes it difficult to focus
on much else. But 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 1st
HBCT, took time to reflect on Father's Day and what it means
to be called "Dad," even if they are hundreds of miles away
from loved ones.
Being a dad is something else,"
explains Sgt. Walter Kinsley, an infantryman with B.
Company, 2/7 IN, and native of Baltimore, Md. "I missed two
years of my daughter's life [because of deployments]. It is
rough being a father in the military because you want to
spend time with them, but I don't regret being in the Army
at all. It has instilled discipline and some leadership
skills within me, and every day I try to instill them into
Most fathers feel the same way.
"Father's Day to me is hard to put into words," explained
1st Lt. Jason Nesci, an assistant operations officer with
2/7 IN. "For my children and my wife to say thank you for
doing things I find average and normal is really something
"[My girls] don't understand why I'm gone,
they just know I'm training with my guys," continued the
Buffalo, N.Y., native. "But [being in the Army] is worth it
because it is what I chose. I have a great support system at
home, they understood this is my choice before we got
married and they are supportive of it. It is harder when you
are a father and a husband, but this is the job I signed up
Being apart is difficult, but these soldiers
have no regrets.
"[Your family] is why you do what
you do," said Staff Sgt. Austin King, a squad leader with B.
Company, 2/7 IN, and a native of Sioux City, Iowa. "[But the
Army] is my job. I have my kids there and I have my kids
here –It's a give and take. In order for them to have
everything they have at home, I have to be away on
From sergeant to commander, the opinions
seemingly never change.
"I think you always wish your
parent were home," explained Lt. Col. Todd Kelly, the 2/7 IN
commander, and native of Savannah, Ga. "You want to be able
to give them a tie for father's day. But you understand that
sometimes because of either jobs or responsibilities fathers
get pulled away. That is the unfortunate part of what we do,
but I think that with the examples we set, it allows us to
be a beacon for our own children's growth."
matter how they celebrate the holiday, the value placed on
family and children is indisputable, and the backbone of
what makes us Army strong.
"[Being apart] makes you
appreciate the moments you do spend with your family so much
more," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Mayfield, the 2/7 IN
operations sgt. maj., and a native of Pleasant Grove, Ala.
"Sometimes we get lost in our mission and forget sometimes
that it is even father's day, but the phone calls and
pictures they send mean a lot, let me know I am missed."
The soldiers will continue training for the next week at
JRTC before returning home to heart-warming, tear-jerking
reunions. But the sacrifices are worth it to ensure their
families, who mean so much, are safe for many Fathers' Days
By Army Spc. Emily Knitter
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