“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:3
Serving in the military must be in my family’s bloodline. On my mother’s side of the family going back several generations, the Hagerty family was originally from Northern Ireland and served in the Irish Army. Irish legend has it that the Hagerty family were a fighting people. They fought in several skirmishes and sieges in Ireland. After they migrated from Ireland during the Irish Potato Famine, my family continued their military service in the United States.
My Great-Great Grandfather Edward served in the Union Army during the Civil War in Company A, 3rd West Virginia Cavalry as a private along with his brother Josiah. They both enlisted in December 1861 at Hamden, Ohio, for three years. During Edward’s enlistment he received a gunshot wound to his left hand during combat at Catlett Station, Virginia.
My Great Grandfather, who passed while I was in high school, served during World War I and was stationed at Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Ohio. Joe was supposed to ship out overseas but an influenza epidemic broke out and many soldiers died at the camp. Great Grandpa Joe ended up serving out his tour of duty at Camp Sherman helping out with the epidemic. His son John, my Grandfather, served during World War II in the United States Navy. Interestingly, Grandpa Jack was in Japan during their surrender on the USS Missouri in 1945. My father, Jim was in the United States Navy as well. He did intelligence work during Vietnam. At the time he was staged in the Philippines and moved in and out of Vietnam as mission dictated to gather intelligence in the field.
My brother Matt and I are natives of Wilkesville, Ohio. We both enlisted right out of high school. I initially served as Medic for Infantry and Armor units mostly in Korea and Fort Campbell. After my commission as a 2nd lieutenant, I operated as a Field Artillery Officer running gun truck missions in Iraq. Currently, my brother Matt is a Special Forces Sergeant Major who is currently on mission overseas. He has completed numerous tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That brings me to my own Children. My oldest daughter Ryan is stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, in the 3rd Armor Cavalry Regiment and is looking to deploy to Iraq in April. My son John’s home station is Fort Stewart, Georgia. He is in an Armor Battalion that recently deployed to South Korea.
I am proud that my children have decided to follow in my footsteps and serve. Placing the welfare of the nation, the military and those you serve with before your own is no easy task. In serving your country, you are doing your duty loyally without thought of recognition or personal gain. Commitment to one another to provide a maximum effort to the common defense of our nation.
“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you,” John 15:12-14.
MAJ(R) John Sheaffer,