January 21, 2014

Celebrating Dad and Brother

Over the long weekend I had the chance to celebrate major accomplishments for my dad and brother.

My dad, born and raised in the deep south of Georgia, is the oldest of 6. He left home at the young age of 17 and joined up with the U.S. Army as an infantryman. Quickly gaining respect from his comrades and superiors alike, my dad advanced and had an impressive career.

He retired after 23 years of service but after giving a majority of his life to the military, just couldn't stay away.

Ending his military career as an ROTC instructor at the University of Dayton, moving to the high school level to teach Jr. ROTC was a no brainer. My dad has been teaching ever since--instilling military values and high standards in young men and women and teaching them leadership skills for life.

My dad is a hard worker. His work has always favored extreme physicality. Whether he was battling the elements in the field in Korea or mowing the lawn and washing cars on a hot summer day at home, Dad has always been a hands on kind of guy.

Now think about sticking somebody like that in a classroom. As you might assume, a classroom wouldn't be my dad's first choice in favorite places to be. But being a man who has taken on many challenges throughout his life, my dad set out to conquer the classroom just like everything else that has come his way in life.

This weekend finally came the time to celebrate years of Dad's hard work. He is a December graduate and now holds an associates degree! At 55 years old and after a lifetime devoted to the United States Army, my dad is a college graduate.
And, always a clown--I swear he can smile! ;)

We surprised my dad with cake and went to have dinner with him at one of his favorite places, BD's Mongolian grill. Pick your own ingredients for mongolian style stir fry--delish!

Since the whole family was together and it doesn't happen often, we also celebrated my brother's graduation from AIT. Following in my dad's footsteps you may remember the honor my dad had of pinning my brother's first rank at basic training graduation. Zachary went on to graduate AIT as an honor grad back in October and continues to be successful in the Army!

Like father, like son! We're so proud of you Dad and Zach!


  1. I am so thankful for men and women like your dad, brother, and mom, who sacrificially serve our country to keep it safe and protected. They deserve to be celebrated! Congratulations on the amazing accomplishment, Jerry and Zach!

  2. valerie dodge headJanuary 21, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    Amanda, what a great way to celebrate your dad and brother. I am proud of them both in many ways. I am also delighted to see the budding writer in you. xo

  3. Amanda @ A Latte LearnJanuary 21, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Our men and women of arms truly do deserve to be celebrated every day! Dad and Zach will certainly appreciate hearing it! :)

  4. Amanda @ A Latte LearnJanuary 21, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    Thank you, Aunt Val! :)



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