Immeasurably proud

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I suppose Father's Day means different things to different people, but to me it's an opportunity to reflect on how blessed I have been as a dad.

I once said of my two young men, and it remains true: If I could have imagined the kind of sons I would like to have, my imagination would have fallen short of reality.

My oldest son, Ronnie, will be 23 in September. In many ways, he's quite different from me: tall, handsome, athletic. He's also very intelligent. He scored a 31 on his ACT as a high school junior, graduated with honors and received a full scholarship to Arkansas State University. Before starting college, though, he spent six months at boot camp and specialty training with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Watching him graduate from USMC boot camp in San Diego is one of my proudest memories.

Ronnie stumbled a bit at Arkansas State, but I can proudly report that after taking some time off from school, he earned a 4.0 grade point average this spring at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He will start a new job in August with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office and sometime in late November or December he will become a dad himself when my first grandchild is born.

My younger son, Ryan, graduated from high school in May and will celebrate his 18th birthday in August. He's tall and handsome just like his brother. Also like his brother, he'll be shipping out to boot camp in San Diego next month. When he finishes his training he'll return home as a member of the USMC Reserve and plans to pursue a career in law enforcement as well.

My sons are good young men. They aren't always perfect, and I don't expect them to be. They care about each other and about other people. They want to accomplish things with their lives, and I believe they will.

Writing all this, it's hard to believe that these young men are the same little boys who used to laugh when they beat me at video games or fight over the last slice of pizza. I remember taking them fishing, throwing the ball around in the back yard, watching them play high school basketball. It all went by so fast.

I miss those little boys, but I'm immeasurably proud of the fine young men they have become.

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Scott Loftis is managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com