I watched a 6th grade student while doing my observation teaching in Anchorage Alaska, the student noticed me watching him and came over to talk to me. The young man asked me if I had been in the army like his dad. I thought to myself this should be pretty interesting since the little guy picked me out of a crowd fairly easy. I told him yes and asked how he knew I had been in the Army? He politely told me I looked mad like his dad sometimes does. I smiled at him and said your dad is not mad he is just tough. The little guy informed me no he is mad because he’s deploying again.
The eleven year old then told me that his dad missed two out of his last three birthdays, Christmas’s and that he was leaving again in November. I asked the student if he was the man of the house while his dad was gone. He told me yes and that his dad and mom both made him promise to never join the army. I told him that I had said the exact same words to my daughter.
He then asked me one of the most sincere questions I have ever heard from a child. He asked me simply why are fathers not proud of being soldiers? I can honestly admit I was speechless and that does not happen to me very often. I tried to explain to him that I was proud of being a soldier but I wanted my daughter to be safe and have more than I had when I was a child. A few minutes of question and answer passed then he asked me why I was teaching. I told him so I could help kids solve problems and learn. The little guy told me that’s what his dad says about soldiers and that his dad liked to teach as well.
The last thing he said to me before class let out was could he tell his dad what I was doing so he could do it to? I smiled and said yes and that I was sure his dad would make a great school teacher.
What I took with me from this conversation was how this generation of military parents wants their children to find another career. Military service men and woman accept their life load but don’t want it for their children or the loss that goes with it. So to answer the question what is the price of freedom, missing my daughter Makenzee grow up and Christopher the 6th grader.