REPORTING FROM FT. BRAGG, N.C. - Jovano Graves' parents begged him not to join the Army right out of high school in 2003, when U.S. troops were fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But their son refused his parents' pleas to try college. He followed them both into the Army instead.
Last June, 11 years later, Staff Sgt. Jovano Graves returned home from Afghanistan, joining his mother, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Sonia Graves-Rivers, for duty here at Ft. Bragg.
"My family, going way, way back, has always felt so proud to be Americans," said Graves-Rivers, who comes from a family in which military service spans six generations, starting with her great-great-grandfather, Pfc. Marion Peeples, who served in a segregated black unit during World War I.
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/us-mil ... cid=HPCDHP
This year will be the first in a long, long time that dad and I will not travel to Washington, DC for the Reef Laying Ceremonies at Arlington and at the Marine Corps Monument. He's not feeling well, but for an 80+ year old man, he's still independent, driving and maintaining his yard plus volunteering to drive new VA vets to VAMC Durham or Fayetteville and to clinics in Jacksonville, Morehead City and Greenville. So, since Navy beat Army (again) this year, I am grilling with some of his buddies and their families. I have to wear his maroon and gold apron (my black and gold one hangs next to my blue and gold A&T apron), and I have to serve him the first meal (which I do anyway, but it would be nice, ARMY CADETS if he got the chance to serve ME once before his or my death.
Next weekend, we will visit Montford Point.