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A dark beginning to the Dark Ages

Truth be told, I spend a lot more time thinking about writing than I do writing. As I’m walking or driving or just daydreaming while staring out an office window, I’m pondering different ideas and ways to approach them. As Winter Break ended, I kept mulling over two things I wanted to write about. First,…

And then, depression set in

I’ve been working on a long-term project related to my alma mater with a fellow alum which results in us chatting on a regular basis, sometimes weekly when we’re in the midst of an important part of the project, sometimes less frequently during lulls. He called during Christmas Break a few days before my cadet…

Christmas wishes and patently bad decisions

The December holidays present a mixed bag for military academy families. For some, it’s a social media highlight reel of smiling faces and other Kodak moments. For others, it’s relatively uneventful, some nice moments mixed with a few speed bumps. Then there are those that see their hopes for a joyful reunion turned upside down…

The needs of the military, the desires of your child

Two things happened this week, both related to the United States Naval Academy and while I could have addressed them on my USNA blog, I feel compelled to share them here. The theme is simple, drawn from a classic Rolling Stones tune … You can’t always get what you wantBut if you try sometime you’ll…

The many faces of Veterans Day

We celebrate Veterans Day this week and when you’re a military academy parent with no military experience of your own, it hits differently. I remember being at a football game for the first time after my son entered the Naval Academy. Standing for the national anthem, I found myself choking up. A friend turned and…

A letter to my daughter on her 21st birthday

23 October 2022 Dear Catie: When you read this, you’ll be 21 years old. As I write this, I am trying to wrap my head around the whole concept. As you know, your birthday has always been complicated. I mean, we don’t really know for sure that today’s your birthday. Around this time of year,…

Parents commission, too, and the training pays off

This post is heavy on Naval Academy mentions, but the themes apply to us and our kids at USAFA, too. It’s often said that a person doesn’t get appointed to a military academy, an entire family gets appointed. Sure, the son or daughter does the really hard part – they endure Induction Day, live at…

My daughter told me not to write this post

Despite the fact that I document (or have documented) a fair amount of both my kids’ experiences at their respective academies (as well as their journeys to those academies), neither one has a particular interest in my writing. Oh, they are fully aware that I write about their lives – and supportive of it -…

Parents Weekend bookends a challenging year

Every parent who headed to Colorado Springs for Parents Weekend spent weeks anticipating the trip and the time with their cadet. I did as well, but likely with some markedly different emotions. Last year’s Parents Weekend was a difficult one. Incredibly difficult. I won’t bore you with the details except to say it was the…

Of unexpected milestones

When you become a military academy parent, you quickly learn that much of the next four years of your life will be about milestones. From the time your child earns an appointment, you set your calendar by events like I Day, A Day, and Parents Weekend and look cautiously forward to things like job drops…

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