Last night, I had the honor and privilege to attend a ceremony for all of the High School students from the Fredericksburg and Stafford area who have graduated from high school and made the decision to join the military.
Three very impressive military members spoke to and encouraged these young men and women for their choice to join the military. Sgt. Major Conover, USMC; Dr. Gwendolyn Hall, PhD (US Air Force Ret) and Brigadier General Mullen, President of the Marine Corps University shared their personal and professional experience while serving active duty. Every one of the young men and women…your sons, daughter, nephews and nieces made a conscious decision to join just 1% of the population to join the military. They will be challenged both physically and mentally.
Brigadier General Mullen talked about the acronym A.C.E. and asked them to keep A.C.E. in the forefront of their mind. A.C.E. stands for Attitude – Choice and Education. I think that this is a great acronym for all of us to remember and thought I would talk about his comments.
A – Attitude. We control our attitude. We are in charge of our attitude and whether it is good or bad. No one else can control our attitude, nor can we blame anyone else for our attitude. When you have a good attitude it carries through in our daily lives and will immediately begin to impact everything in our lives.
C – Choice. We chose our path. All of the graduates in attendance last night chose to join the military. Even though they may think that they have made their own choices up to this point, they are truly in charge now. They can chose to go left, right, up or down. The choice is up to them. Mom and dad are not in charge anymore. It’s time to take charge of their lives.
E – Education. Never…ever stop learning. He asked the Sgt. Major and Dr. Hall if they were finished learning yet. Of course, their answers were “no”. We should never stop wanting to learn. This may mean they use their military time to attend college and receive their degree or it may mean that they read and educate themselves. No matter which road they chose…contnue to educate yourself.
What an awesome evening to see over 100 young men and women cross the stage and be honored for their choices. I know, first hand, that as a parent you are extremely proud of your child and yet scared at the same time. Maybe even more scared than your child because you can’t be there to protect them anymore.
They have made the decision to release the apron string. Let your child go and grow into the person that you have taught them to become. You have done your part and done it well.
Should you need or desire support from Blue Star Mothers of Fredericksburg, please feel free to reach out to me. I’ll be happy to be a shoulder and promise that my ears and heart are open to help you through this stressful time.
Thank you, parents, for everything you do!