Leadership Training Course

My son Stephen left June 16, 2008 for LTC (Army lingo for Leadership Training Course) at Ft Knox, near Louisville, KY. His departure was exactly two months after his Dad (Duane) died. Needless to say, sending your son off to 4 weeks of intensive physical and mental challenges and training is a little hard on a mom with no family military heritage.

Then I received the invitations from the Colonel to attend the Family Day and Graduation Ceremony scheduled for July 12 and 13 which pulled on my mama heart strings. Could I afford it? Should I afford it? Could I handle going by myself? What if I don’t go? All the typical mom worries. My sister’s husband Chuck, a retired army reserve Colonel advised that I skip this event and plan on attending his commissioning in a year or two.

Meanwhile, I only received three very short phone calls while he was gone, one of which was Saturday during the Family time. Friday, I found the web site with all the many pictures of the activities covered including two good ones of Stephen, I can’t resist posting.

These pictures were taken candidly by the army during the One Rope Bridge Steam Crossing Training Event.

Stephen is the short haired boy in glasses. He told me he has had two hair cuts in the four weeks he has been at Ft Knox. When he called Saturday, he informed me that he was graduating “fully qualified” so he will now be able to contract with ROTC when he returns to school this Fall. I am proud Mama for his determination and fortitude inspite of the obstacles our family has been facing. God has been faithful to all of us.

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4 comments to Leadership Training Course

  • Lynne in NC

    What a blessing that the photographs are so clear and show Stephen diligently working. It was excellent advice from your brother-in-law in choosing to wait until a later time to travel. I remember the commissioning ceremony as being more meaningful as well, (my brother is in the Air Force). I am sure you, and your girls, are very proud of him. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • I had to smile when you described him as the “boy” in the glasses. Doesn’t look like a boy to me. Looks like a young man. He will probably be your “boy” forever though.

    My oldest son is currently in JROTC and is considering military would you mind explaining what you mean by a “contract” with ROTC?

  • Linda

    My husband and I just returned today from the LTC Family/Graduation weekend at Ft. Knox. My heart goes out to you and your family for the heart-breaking loss you suffered. The Army took very good care of the cadets and I hope when Stephen returned he knew more about himself and his internal strength and courage than most. My husband and I are struggling with our son’s desire to go in the Army, but no matter our feelings, we support him and are proud of his accomplishments. While most “kids” his age were surfing the net, working and partying this summer, Stephen embarked on a difficult and challenging journey that shows the true character of the man he is becoming. Be proud.

  • Glynn

    I have to second the comments by Linda above. He’s growing up whether or not any of us are ready to let him! My 21yo son’s best friend is heading back to Iraq this week. After hanging out with he and his family it’s clear these guys are not the boys we knew just a few short years ago. They are men – given to immaturity and silly stunts at times. I used to refer to my 21yo as a man-child when he was about 17-19. My 16yo seems to appreciate when I refer to him as a man-child. It’s hard to consider any 20-21yo to be a man when we know all the growing up they still need to do. As a side note, I didn’t consider my 22yo husband anything but a man when I married him, though he (and I) still had a lot of growing up to do over the next decade(s).

    I’m so glad your family has been able to hang out together this summer. When I heard about Duane and that the kids were all coming home I was so thankful they were going to be together and at home with you. What a blessing our children are – regardless of their age.


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