Some military fathers open up about how they have become role models to their children because of their time in the service.
It is no secret that military families generally come in groups. When a father or mother joins a branch, the son or other children are also likely to follow suit. The tradition of selflessly serving your country is one that runs deep.
Generations of Military Service
Sgt. Maj. Terrence Sargeant was only 11 years old when he expressed his desire to follow in his South Carolina drill sergeant father’s footsteps and join the service. His son, Capt. Alexander Sargeant was only six when he expressed the same dream to become an Army teacher.
Furthermore, retired U.S. Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Steve Payne is also a third-generation military man. His son and grandson are both serving in the 1st Marine Division.
Sgt. Payne spoke to the Pentagon public affairs office, crediting his wife for the home’s stability.
“Trying to handle the times you’re there, and the times you’re not there — and that’s where having a strong partner, their mother, that you’re on the same sheet, so when you’re away, nothing is missing a beat,” Sgt. Payne.
One moment that stands out as being a highlight in Lt. Stefawn Payne’s military career came nearly 20 years into his service. It was at this time that his father, Sgt. Steve Payne saluted him as his son received his military honors. Stefawn referred to it as a “surreal moment.”
“I never thought that would happen when I first enlisted,” Lt. Payne said. “That was a great moment and something I will always remember.”
Lt. Payne hopes that his children follow in the same footsteps and join the Marine Corps.
“I think about how, if my kids were Marines, what I would expect from their leadership, and I try to give that type of leadership to the Marines,” Lt. Payne noted.
But what happens when you don’t have any children of your own?
Well, you step in as a father figure to the younger men and women who join up. They are not only someone to look up to as a role model, but the officers guide them, train them, and share their wisdom with the younger group of Marines.
As for those that may not have grown up with a parental figure in their life, this is a chance to rewrite the history for their children.
Recruit Jvontre Stokes with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion reveals that he may not have known his father, but he will be a role model for his one-year-old son.
“I want to love him the way I was never loved,” Stokes told the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island.
To all those men and women who have selflessly served in our military, thank you for all that you do to protect us.