When my daughter was dating, I did my best to not get involved. It drove Mrs. T nuts. "Why don't you get to know that lad", she'd ask. "Someday I'll be told to know this one, until then my mind is an empty vessel" and so it was.
Same thing with my bonus daughter. She's show up with one pimply faced, beer stealing dweeb after another, and I'd wonder to myself, as only a bonus dad can or should do.
But one was different. You could see it in his eyes. Barely old enough to drive, the kid had fire. He was going places, he knew it, and made certain all around him knew it to.
High school over, they drifted apart and went their separate ways for college, she to Boston, he took an Army scholarship to the Virginia Military Institute. Last May, he graduated near the top of his class and was commissioned an Army second lieutenant.
He never lost that look.
For the past 2+ months he has been in an intense training course. Friday he will be certified by the Army as Ranger Ready and will have earned the tan beret of an Army Ranger, a member of a very elite military organization.
I always liked that boy. I'm proud of him, and proud to know him. His troops are in good hands.