Hurd on the Hill: Month of the Military Family

Since November is the Month of the Military Family, I asked my San Antonio District Representative Don Vasser to share his experiences as a member of a military family for this week’s Hurd on the Hill column. I hope you enjoy his story. – Will

On October 25, 2019, approximately 700 men and women graduated from the Air Force Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. I stood off to the side of Lackland’s Parade Field and watched while the trainees transitioned to airmen before our eyes and the squadrons marched across the field. After the marching ended my family and I were able to congratulate my younger brother, Lance, in the honorable endeavor he had accomplished.

Since November is Month of the Military Family, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on what being a part of a military family means to me. Growing up, I thought that in order to be a part of a “Military Family” your parent had to be an active-duty military member. That’s not quite true. Any immediate family member falls under the umbrella of what is considered a military family – like my brother Lance.

I didn’t realize how impactful it would be to have a sibling join the military. Now it’s crazy to think I have three brothers who either are currently serving or have served in the United States Air Force. I feel a tremendous amount of respect and pride for my brothers for their service and dedication to these great United States of America.

My third and youngest brother graduated from the Air Force basic training program a few weeks ago. To give you more perspective, I am 11 years older than him I have always tried to set an example for this young man throughout his childhood years. He would always come to me for advice - whether it be about academic, sports, or just life itself. There is something powerful about watching the transformation from the time he enlisted to the courageous Airman he is today.

The pride I feel while watching my brothers march under the American Flag is indescribable, knowing my family is directly contributing to the defense of our nation. I think of the millions of men and women who are active-duty military members or have served in our armed forces and what their families have sacrificed. The children, wives, husbands, and other loved ones these brave men and women leave to go to the front lines. I feel connected to the rest of the military families in Texas and across our nation because I know what it feels like to have an empty place at our holiday tables due to a family member serving a greater cause.

To all the men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces – thank you for your service. To the military families across the 23rd District of the great state of Texas: I understand your fears, your pride, and your connection. We are connected.

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