Our youngest, a sergeant in the infantry, and his wife were here recently. They were traveling from Anchorage to Boston for a new assignment, a new chapter in their lives.
With Veterans Day upon us, I thought it would be good to pick his brain a bit. He always indulges me.
Me: Your new assignment at Natick Soldier Systems Center will be quite different from what you have done since you joined the Army in 2012. What will you be doing there?
Roy: I will be part of a team which tests and evaluates new equipment for the Army.
Me: What are your thoughts on kneeling during the national anthem at sporting events?
Roy: They are exercising their First Amendment rights. I don’t agree with it and believe there are other ways for them to protest.
Me: What are your thoughts on the Bergdahl case?
Roy: Personally, I don’t believe justice was served. Men died and others were wounded searching for him. On the other hand, I’m not the judge and I wasn’t in the courtroom during his trial.
Me: The unit you left has deployed to Afghanistan again. How do you feel about not being with them?
Roy: I wish I could have gone. My soldiers, the ones I trained with, are now there, without me. I feel a sense of responsibility for them even though I am not with them there.
Me: You are mid-PCS (permanent change of station). What’s been your favorite thing/event/place during this move?
Roy: As you know, moving can be an adventure. Our move started with a six-day drive from Anchorage through Canada to Kansas. It’s been great to spend time with family, be home, visit with my brother, surprise my sister and see my niece and nephew. The most exciting part of this move has been the news I got on Wednesday. I’m going to be a father.
Me: Any words of wisdom for anyone considering joining the armed services?
Roy: Maintain a good physical fitness routine and keep a positive outlook. Every duty station will be different and everything you do will either be a learning opportunity or a teachable one.
April Pedersen is the mother of three children and grandmother of two. She lives in Lansing.