Col. Joseph Cerreto (RET) and Amanda Cerreto at his retirement at West Point, NY, 2010.
June 16, 2012 - My father, Col. Joseph Cerreto, served in the US
Army Reserves for twenty five years. I was raised in the military
environment and was taught respect, loyalty, and honesty. When I was
young, we would army crawl across the living room for fun and I used
to sit in his helmet as an infant–I preferred it to any other seat.
In his long career, he served in many units, including the
Criminal Investigation Division with the Third Army in Iraq from
2003-2004, and ended his career as the Commander of the 4th LSO. His
deployment to Iraq was the hardest thing to do for him and our
family. I was only sixteen at the time, and the house felt different
from the moment he was
deployed on Valentine's Day in 2003. While he was deployed, he
missed his 25th wedding anniversary, my sixteenth birthday, and the
birth of his first grandson.
However, when he returned, he brought with him a greater
sense of humanity and camaraderie. While he hesitates to
fully share his experiences with us, it is clear that his
perspective on life has changed. As a direct result, our
lives have changed, too. When I think of my father and the
lives he has touched, as well as the moments that have moved
him, I am reminded that every day is a gift. As a child of a
military officer, I know I hold a special position in this
world. In addition to my family, I have an entire extended
military family behind me. Ours is a bond that people
outside of the military could never begin to understand.
I consider myself lucky to have a father who served in
the Army, especially one who made it his career. Though he
doesn't know it, his service motivates me every day to be a
better person and to try and make a difference in the world.
The core Army values I was raised on will carry through my
entire life, and I will be forever proud to be an Army Brat.
By Amanda Cerreto
Department of Veterans Affairs - Vantage Point
About Author: Amanda Cerreto works for Pearson Education as
an editorial assistant. For fun, she plays softball and participates
in mud races. Amanda resides in Cortlandt, New York.
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