Forgive me for celebrating a proud dad moment, but I just can’t help it. Lisa and I have three amazing sons of whom we are incredibly proud. Just ask me, and I’ll brag on each of them without taking a breath.
We just returned from the East Coast where we visited Reggie and Rachael in Virginia where Reggie is a First Lieutenant in the Army based at Fort Eustis. We received a firsthand tour of the base and got to see where our oldest son works. Very cool dad experience.
We then all made our way to West Point in NY to be with our second son, Quinn, for Ring Weekend. Ring Weekend is a stirring event featuring a beautiful and impressive ceremony at Trophy Point where all Firsties (cadets in their final year) receive their West Point rings and are reminded of their call and mission. As the Army Band played, 1,000 cadets marched in formation while donning their impressive all white uniforms accented with the stunning red sash. The next night we attended a very regal banquet with 4,000 cadets and family members and heard an inspiring General and former West Point grad speak about Duty, Honor, Country.
This is all otherworldly for a mom and dad. Lisa and I drink in every moment we can with our boys as all parents do. I found myself reflecting on Quinn’s accomplishments and how quickly the time has flown by at West Point. He will be branching this Fall, learning of his post assignment the first of the year, and graduating in May. A lot has happened over these past 4 years and there are exciting days and incredible changes that lie ahead for him.
There were a lot of pictures taken at Ring Weekend, of course. Besides all the meaningful family pictures, the ones that really inspired me were the pictures of Quinn and his band of brothers (and sisters). As they grouped together for photos showing off their new rings and celebrating with hugs and smiles, I reveled in their camaraderie. And it got me to thinking: What was it that caused these cadets, who were literal strangers 4 years ago, to become fast friends? And I concluded it has everything to do with what they hold in common.
- Common History—They have gone through the perils of R Day (Reception Day), the pain of Beast (boot camp), the pressure of performing in a highly competitive and intensive classroom environment, and much more over the past 4 years.
- Common Mission—They have all signed on to defend their country and even give their life doing so if called upon. The stakes are very high.
- Common Vision—To continue to grow, learn, advance, and become strong leaders as officers in the US Army who will lead others in defending our freedom.
- Common Standards—To be leaders of character. Duty, Honor, Country is the theme of every speech, every day, in every way. No exceptions. No tolerance.
- Common Pain/Sacrifice—Life and training at West Point is hard. And at times it is also somber. As 4,000 cadets at West Point gather they often have moments of silence remembering those who have fallen in the line of duty.
- Common Devotion—They feel a sense of calling and commitment to the cause they have in common. It unites, eliminates individualism, emphasizes mission, builds community, and drives camaraderie.
As Christians, we are foot soldiers in God’s Army. We have a common history, mission, vision, standards (Bible), pain/sacrifice (life can be hard, times can be tough), and devotion (to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ). We have so much in common. Let’s celebrate it and work together like never before to advance God’s mission through the many ministries, outreaches, groups, and gatherings of BCA. Our cause is great and God is counting on each of us. We are in this together…for Him!!
And remember, Your Father is very proud of you.