Like Father, Like Son
(July 3, 2011)
Sgt. Timothy Dilworth, right, and his son Spc. Elijah Dilworth, left, of Pickens, S.C., and soldiers with the 1055th Transportation Company of Lawrence, S.C., are veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and plan on deploying for Afghanistan next year. Spc. Dilworth joined the South Carolina National Guard at the age of 17, following the footsteps of his father, who has been in off and on since 1982. Photo by Army Sgt. David Turner
BLUE GRASS ARMY DEPOT, Ky. (6/29/2011) - During the Civil War,
General Wade Hampton was said to have had an agreement with his sons
who were fellow Confederate soldiers. The agreement was that if any
of them were wounded in combat, the others would still accomplish
the mission at hand. During battle, Hampton saw his son lying
mortally wounded on the ground. He went to give him a kiss on the
head and then rode to the front of the battle to continue fighting
The very same agreement exists between Sgt. Timothy
Dilworth and his son Spc. Elijah Dilworth.
Dilworth chose to
follow the footsteps of his father by joining the South Carolina
National Guard during his senior year of high school at the age of
17. Like any father, Sgt. Dilworth, a veteran of two deployments at
the time, was worried about his son joining the military.
“When he told me he wanted to join, I asked him, ‘Do you like
someone telling you what to do 24/7? You don't like it when I tell
you to empty the garbage,'” he said.
At first glance the two seem to have little in common. Sgt. Dilworth is
shorter and stocky, with an assertive demeanor. As the father he is
known as Big Dil. His son, Little Dil, is taller, with an athletic build
and calm personality.|
Soon after Little Dil graduated training,
both volunteered to be mobilized with the 1055th Transportation Company
of Laurens, S.C., and left their home of Pickens, S.C., for Iraq. The
two were in the same unit; however, they were always in different
convoys while on missions.
“I prayed for him when he was out on
missions,” said Big Dil. “But we both agreed that if anything happens to
one of us we have to carry on with the mission. We couldn't let them
take two Dilworth's out with one bullet.”
On Little Dil's first
mission, his convoy was hit with an Improvised Explosive Device. Sgt.
Dilworth heard over the radio that three soldiers had been medically
“I didn't know if he was one of them or not,” he
recalled. Sgt. Dilworth had to wait two days before he found out his son
was just fine. “I had to just keep doing my job.”
The two agreed
that very little has changed in their family. Sgt. Dilworth has been in
the National Guard off and on since 1982.
“His first deployment
he went on, I was in middle school,” said Little Dil. “He was always a
military junkie, so I grew up watching military movies. I just fell in
love with it and wanted to do that.”
There is mutual respect
between the two, and even though he is Sgt. Dilworth's son, Little Dil
gets no preferential treatment. Big Dil won't hesitate putting Little
Dil on an additional modest duty.
“I'm pretty used to it now.
Although, I have to catch myself from calling him ‘Pops' sometimes,”
said Little Dil. “He has locked me up a few times and made me push a few
Spc. Dilworth is preparing to enroll in college to
further his potential in the military and civilian world, possibly even
become an officer. However, his education will have to be temporarily
put on hold again, because he and his father plan to mobilize again in
September, this time for Afghanistan.
“I am very proud of him. He
is a good young soldier,” said Big Dil. “I look forward to saluting him
By Army Pfc. Chalon Hutson
301st Public Affairs Detachment
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