McCain's VP Pick's Son is in the Army
from the Anchorage Daily News, published September 19, 2007:
JUNEAU -- Gov. Sarah Palin's son, Track, left on Tuesday for infantry boot camp in Fort Benning, Ga.Here's a recent quote:
The 18-year-old enlisted last week on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Track is the oldest of Palin's four children and her only son.
"I support my son's independence, and I am proud of his decision because he made it for the right reasons -- to serve his country," Palin said.
In July, Palin went to Kuwait where she visited the Alaska Army National Guard's 3rd Battalion, 297th Infantry, a unit that is made up of about 575 Alaska men and women.
She said she wanted an up-close look at the sacrifices made by Alaska-based troops in the Middle East so she accepted the offer of a two-day tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Ultimately, it may have been a closer look at what awaits Track.
Palin said she has come to terms with the idea that Track could be deployed next year to Iraq, Kuwait or Afghanistan, where thousands of U.S. troops are based.
Last week President Bush approved a gradual reduction of U.S. forces, which stand at the highest level of the war, about 168,000 troops.
"With this quasi draw down, there may be shorter deployments, which is encouraging for Track; in fact, that's encouraging for all of our troops," Palin said. "But more likely than not, Track will end up in the Middle East."
Since her son enlisted, Palin said, she has received several e-mails from women whose sons or daughters have either enlisted or are serving overseas.
While proud of their children's decision to enlist, they have not lost sight of the prospects of losing a loved one in the war.
"I certainly have thought about it; the mixed emotions we all feel will be something that binds us together," Palin said. "But we don't regret that our son or daughter has made this decision."
Track Palin joins Wasilla High classmate John Bates at Fort Benning. The Palin family threw the teens a party on Sunday evening.
Palin said the party was not a farewell, but a thank you for the young men's commitment to serve.
"We want the boys to know that we support them and we've got their backs," Palin said.
I have a 19 year old who's getting ready to be deployed to Iraq. His striker brigade leaves on September 11 of this year. He's 19 and he'll be gone for a year. [And so] on a personal level, when I talk about the plan for the war, let's make sure we have a plan here. And respecting McCain's position on that too, though.OYE Comment:
[ . . . ]
My son being in a striker brigade in the army has really opened my eyes to international events, and how war impacts everyday Americans like us when we have a child who chooses to enlist and to serve [for] the right reasons.
Wow. Operation Yellow Elephant salutes the Palin family for their commitment to serving our nation. Track Palin's unit is to deploy to Iraq on September 11, 2008. We wish him, and his unit, all the best.
Of course, how he got his name is another story.