Confession: there were tears as I wrote this American Faces story. You see American Faces #78 is my son and my soldier, Isaac . You never are really prepared for the time when your children take flight. But I guess I should have seen this coming. Isaac has forever been filled with gusto and an extraordinarily loyal heart for his people and his country. His loyal heart was on full display in late August of 2019 when at age 16 he sat at the bedside holding the hand of his 79 year old Papa as he passed away. Isaac never left my dad’s side until his last breath was breathed that day. He said, “I didn’t want Papa to feel alone.” That was one of the most powerful examples of undying loyalty I have ever seen in my 52 years on this globe, and it still takes my breath away nearly three years later. Just amazing.
Now for the soldier part: I think it is just in this young man’s DNA. When his sisters weren’t trying to get him to dress up in a TuTu, or play dolls or house, Isaac was outside slaying some dragon or fighting some battle in some imaginary place. But one of his “best days ever” was when he modeled on a photo shoot I did for J.M. Cremps and he dressed as a soldier. At the tender age of 8 I saw glimpses of someone who would wear a uniform and wear it well, with dignity and pride, for the U.S. Army National Guard. Ike (our nickname for him) may have been playing that day in 2010, but to him he was a real soldier on a real mission.
On March 21st, 2022 we said our goodbyes to Isaac as he headed out for 9 weeks of Basic Training. After conquering Basic, he’ll move on to 20+ weeks of specialized training (MOS).
Our family is so proud of the direction that Isaac has taken and how he plans to move forward in life with this decision to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.
I closed my photo session with Isaac by asking him to share a word for his sisters Anna, Abigail and Bethany, in case he never saw them again. He simply said, “Thanks for loving me, for growing up with me. Thank you for sharing our childhood years together. I will be forever proud to call you my sisters.”
We’re so proud of you too, Ike. Keep living, loving with your whole heart and showing us what it means to be loyal!