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Patriotic Article
Military

By Army Pfc. Chalon Hutson

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Like Father, Like Son
(July 3, 2011)

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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
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 on.

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 evacuated.

“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 times.”

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 one day.” 

By Army Pfc. Chalon Hutson
301st Public Affairs Detachment
Copyright 2011

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