Far-away Father’s Day for parents in uniform puts focus on balancing military, family life
As Americans celebrated Fathers Day, few were likely aware that close to 2 million children have at least one parent who serves in the armed forces. Forty-three percent of American troops are parents, most of them fathers.
While many acknowledge the sacrifices made by our servicemen, women, and their families, our appreciation for the significance of these sacrifices has deepened as we’ve heard the voices of military dads. Like this one:
“I’m away so much, whether it’s just, you know, active duty here in the States or being deployed again. I think the biggest impact is he senses that, ‘OK, well, Dad’s here for a little bit and then he’s gone and then he’s here’… I hope to have a really good relationship with my child, you know. I didn’t have a great father figure when I grew up and I wanna kinda correct that and be a father figure for my child… I feel kinda like a papa bear, you know, protective…”
All parents want to protect their children from harm and keep them safe. Military parents have a dual commitment, to protect their children and protect our nation. So Father’s Day is an opportunity to call attention to the special challenge of balancing military and family life, and to honor those who both strive to be good fathers across a great distance during deployment, and those who remain as primary caregivers when their spouses/partners deploy.
Posted to Members in the News & Publications on June 19, 2012