Michael Rueter

This is to honor My Son’s sacrifices to our country.

As a US Merchant Marine returning home from a Marine Corps pre positioning ship. I asked my son’s teacher if she might mention April as Military Brat month. I had hoped she might point out the sacrifice these young soles make for us all. I thought she might, in some way, point out my son’s part in the defense of our country. She was not receptive, pointing out the fact that I am not active military, and she would be right.

I stand watch on military support vessels, be it the Marine Corps, Navy, or Army. I am not active duty. My son Gabriel, sees me 1/3 of the time. 2/3rd, I am away from home, on watch. Gabriel is dual citizenship American and Philippine. He has attended school in Saipan, Philippines, and Texas. He has no base housing or support groups to convey any sense of community. None of his classmates know what it’s like to say goodbye to their fathers so often for so long, 2, 4, and sometimes 6 months at a time. And sadly, to no fault of his own, he is denied the badge of honor that is “Military Brat.”

I once knew life as a Military Brat for a brief time in high school. Mother served in the Army. I am proud to have this honor. Thank you for allowing me my voice.