Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Visitor Made My Day

One of my former students, an Eagle Scout, dropped by to visit me today. I did a double-take when I saw him--he's really grown up and filled out. Anyway, he came by to tell me something.

He's been in junior college for awhile, but he realized that he was only there for his parents because it's what they wanted. He hated it because it wasn't what he wanted. He wasn't happy there. School isn't for him right now.

So he enlisted in the army. He'll report to basic training in the next couple months.

He said his entire outlook has improved. He's looking forward to being a part of something bigger than himself, something he's genuinely interested in. He'll be doing basic, then airborne (parachute) school, and then Ranger School. He wants to be assigned to the 75th Rangers, and is looking at special operations. This is what he wants to do. I could see it in the smile he wore, in the pride he now carries.

And he wanted me to know.

I wonder if he has any idea how good he made me feel by telling me his story, how proud I am of the relationship we established, how proud I am of him, how happy I am that he's found what he's been looking for.


Anonymous said...


That is a great story. If that doesn't help you to sleep well tonight, I don't know what it'll take.

Well done, good and faithful servant.

Bob from Georgia

W.R. Chandler said...

Ahh Ranger School...

Two months of crawling in the mud and operating on 1 to 2 hours of sleep a night. I never had the pleasure of experiencing it, but plenty of my active duty buddies filled me in on the gory details.

Darren said...

Bob, thank you. Your comment is far more generous than what I deserve. The young man I wrote about has earned the kudos here, I'm merely fortunate enough to get to blog about such people.

Unknown said...

A couple of years ago, I had one of my students come up to me after class and apologize because he'd been called to active duty. I shook his hand, told him there was nothing to apologize for, and thanked him.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I was in the military from 1971-75. My parents weren't thrilled when I went in but they adjusted. I ended up in Vietnam, but I learned a lot about myself. Your student has responded to the best in all of us. He has done it because it was the right thing to do. You should take some credit for giving him a positive role model. That's why we teach!

Ellen K said...

I think one of the most touching emails I received was from one of my former students who is now in the Navy in San Diego. He was talking about how pretty it was there-he had never been to the ocean. He has been doing watercolors on his off time and even sold one to his CPO. I think he was a little homesick because he talked about school and I know his dad has moved away from here. Maybe he just wanted to touch base with his past.

Darren said...

They have no idea how much they mean to us.