Happy Father’s Day!

A wise man at DANTES pointed out to me that this Sunday is Father's Day and, to be fair and unbiased, I'd better get busy on a blog about it! I'm abashed to admit that I hadn't really looked at the calendar, and was caught by surprise. Doubly so, as my Dad's birthday is the 12th.. **sigh** I've already fallen back into my “so sorry but your card will be late” modus operandi.

Fathers are often the unsung heroes of family life. If you were to judge American life by the sitcoms on TV, Dads go off to work to support their families, get verbally abused by their spouses and children, are clueless about modern life, and otherwise are never expected to take part in the day-to-day functions of home life. That is as far from the truth as you can get.

As I mentioned in my blog on Mother's Day, my Dad retired from a career in the Air Force. We moved often, and there were times he was absent from our lives, due to isolated tours and business trips. I was at a young age, and I must admit the best part of his traveling was finding out what he brought back for me and my brother. But, I also have memories of the family sitting down at the dinner table, sharing the day's events and dramas. No matter what happened, I knew he always had my back.

I never knew how much that was the case until much later. Skip forward a few years (we'll bypass the tempestuous “teen” years, thank you very much) and I've graduated from high school and am attending University. My life is unfocused and I'm getting tired of working full time and going to school full time, with no time for me. My Dad had always suggested going into the military, but up until now, that was not what I wanted to do. Suddenly, it wasn't such a bad idea after all. Maybe because he didn't push the issue, until it was my own idea. Maybe he's a wise man, after all.

After talking with several recruiters, I decided to join the Navy. People asked my Dad if that bothered him, being career Air Force and all. He would just reply, “No. I'm just glad she's signing up with ANY Service. She's going to get an education and a job, and that's fine with me.” Go, Dad! I chose the Communication field, and went into the Delayed Entry Program, as there wasn't an available school seat for almost a year. So, jump ahead a year: I've quit my job, had my farewell “Anchor's Aweigh” party, and I'm all set to fly off the next day to boot camp in sunny Florida. I go downtown to the Navy recruiter office for final processing and get a load of bricks dumped on me: They very calmly tell me that my medical screening is over a year old and I don't have time to get a new one. I was less than calm - I was devastated! I lost my school seat, my rating, everything. No way was I going to go undesignated to a ship and chip paint. So I told them to stuff it, or words to that effect. This is where my Dad took control, Bless him. He got on the phone to our local Congressman, explained the situation, and asked him what he was going to do about it. Wish I could have heard that conversation! Next thing I know, I get a phone call from the Navy recruiter telling me to come in to pick my rating and they will make it happen. Awesome, Dad! My “knight-in-shining-armour.”

So, why am I sharing another of my family memories? To get you to think of what your Dad (or Dad-like figure) has done for you in getting you where you are today. Without my Dad's intervention, I wouldn't have a wonderful husband and two great sons, had a Naval career that brought me great satisfaction, traveled the world, and, not least, finally gotten that degree I started way back in the beginning of all this. Fathers can be a positive influence in their kid's lives every day by providing instruction, guidance, support, and advice (not always asked for or heeded!). Or, by making that all-important life-changing phone call, if need be. So, to all the Dads out there that may not get the recognition, respect or honor that they deserve: “I salute you!” Now, get out there and fire up the grill. I feel a BBQ coming on.

And to my Daddy: thanks and I love you! You may not remember everything you did for me, but I do. And that's what really matters. Virtual hug!

For valuable education resources, check out the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) Web site http://www.dantes.doded.mil/index.html.

Nancy Hamilton, DANTES Editor

June DIB now online!

Check out the latest news at http://www.dantes.doded.mil/_content/dib/2014/DIB_Jun_2014.pdf

Some articles :

- Enhanced MOU partnership with educational institutions
- Michelle Alexander: New DANTES team member
- Exams News: SAT Form 69 cutoff date; SAT to be updated; Praxis paper-based tests to end
- DANTES European Advisor: Celebrating success - Old World style!
- Partnerships News: 2014 ACE Guide CD now available
- TTT News: North Carolina honors fallen hero with "Corporal Pruitt Rainey Brass to Class Act"

Happy Mother’s Day!

Whatever you call her – Mother (my personal favorite), Mom, Ma, Mater, Mamma, or Mommy – don't forget that this Sunday is her big day!

I am fortunate in that my Mother is still with me, and this week I broke a lifetime habit of tardiness and actually got my Mother's Day card mailed on time! Hope she doesn't faint. Ha! She got the requisite 'cat' card (I always give cards with cats on them!), but also a sappy one that shows just how much she means to me. Not that I could ever express that in words.

My Mother isn't famous, she didn't cure the common cold, she didn't climb Mt. Everest, she didn't even go to college. But, she did a great job raising my brother and me, made sure we had a happy childhood, and gave us the tools we would need to survive and maybe even succeed in our adult lives.

She and my Dad met in the Air Force (he was her supervisor!). He eventually wore her down and they got married. When she was pregnant with my brother, she had to leave the Air Force. Seems, at the time, women were incapable of being both a Mother and a Service member. Oh, how things have changed! My Dad's job meant he transferred every 18 months or so – yes, that often! Plus, he had a couple of isolated tours, and traveled often. That meant it was up to Mother to keep the family running smoothly, for the most part anyway. When he retired and they had to decide where to settle, they chose a place that had a university nearby, so that my brother and I could live at home while getting a degree. See, even though nether of them had gone to college, it was important to them to give us the opportunity. My brother knew what he wanted and got his degree, then a job, then a wonderful family life. Showoff! Me, I took another path – a few years of college fun and games, then I joined the Navy. Not a bad choice – I eventually got my own wonderful family life and my degree. Just took me a little longer.

So, why am I sharing all of this? Hopefully, to get you to take a moment to think about how you got where you are today – and who helped you along the way. I hope your Mother was by your side, helping you and supporting you, like mine was. Or, maybe you had someone else in that role. Whoever it may have been, they probably made difficult choices and sacrifices for you, all in order to give you a good life and those life tools I mentioned earlier. And maybe even the desire to pursue higher education (I hope so!).  If they are still with you, be sure to give them a big THANK YOU and hug on Sunday. Mine gets a virtual hug this year – Love you mucho, Mother!

Oh – and if my sons are reading – be sure to make it MILK chocolate, not that dark stuff. ; )

For valuable education resources, check out the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) Web site http://www.dantes.doded.mil/index.html.

Nancy Hamilton, DANTES Editor


Check out the May DIB!


 Some of the articles include:

- Join DANTES and Navy VolEd in celebrating the big 4-0

- 2014 GED voucher and reimbursement information

- SOC updates

- ACE military programs webinar dates

- TTT News and Transitioning from Troop to Teacher

- From the Desks of the Senior Enlisted Advisor and Reserve Component Advisor

- Changes to Service education programs

- New DANTES Web site links

- OASC & CPST - One registration, two programs