Zach is the second of my three boys and just finished his second year at the University of North Dakota (UND). He is also a Soldier serving with the Minnesota Army National Guard and a Cadet in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at UND. He was one of the fortunate few selected to attend Air Assault School at Fort Benning, Georgia this summer.
It was a great opportunity for him, unfortunately the timing of course meant that we didn’t get much time together on my R&R (click the link to read about it). But things actually worked out pretty well because I was able to visit him down at Benning & he was in the rappelling phase which gave me much more time than had I been there when they were doing a classroom or testing day.The Cadre were wonderfully accommodating, inviting me to join them on the tower to take pictures from the top. They also sent Zach down the same lane each time so I didn’t need to guess where to be to take pictures during his descent. It seemed to be a very well run course and all the instructors were extremely professional and respectful of both me & the students. It was nice to see.
I couldn’t help but wonder what the response would have been from my Air Assault instructors if someone would have attempted to visit me when I went through so many years ago? I am confident in saying they would not have been very welcoming. I can vividly recall the scorching ‘extra training’ I received because someone thought it would be nice to visit me while I was in RECONDO school at Fort Bragg way back when…I had no prior knowledge or control of it, but I learned my lesson anyway…
I am very proud of Zach for the man he is becoming and I know he will make a fine Soldier and leader. I am also very grateful to have had that little bit of time with him before I heading back here.
Here are a few pictures of my time with Zach.