Military Dad Enraged by 'Unpatriotic' Son for Missing Him

Gillian Sisley

Is protecting your country worth missing your children growing up?

The decision to serve your country, and go out on the front lines to protect your nation and the citizens of your homeland, is no small matter. These individuals are brave and courageous in their choice.

Data shows that there are 1.3 million active-duty personnel in the US, and a portion of these members will also be parents. This puts an entirely new meaning to the work-life balance.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a man admits to his father that he doesn’t want to miss his own children growing up the way his military father missed his children’s childhoods, and the father invalidates his son’s feelings of abandonment.

Is protecting your country worth missing your children growing up?

A Reddit post published on July 12, reported on by Ashley Gale from Newsweek, has gone viral with 7,200 upvotes and 630 comments.

The author begins his post by explaining that he comes from what is considered a ‘generational military family’. He moved from place to place from the time that he was young, and would go for a long time without seeing his father. This has resulted in a feeling of distance between himself and his father, now that they’re adults.

The author also goes on to explain that each and every time he expressed missing his dad growing up, and wanting to see more of him, he was always told to ‘be quiet’ because his father was a hero, and thus he should just be proud of him.

Now in his mid-thirties, the author has three brothers and a sister who all enrolled in the military, and the author is the only child who didn’t. He simply didn’t want to join, for his own personal reasons and experience.

Absentee parents can cause significant trauma to children.

Children who grow up with parents who are absent or away on a frequent basis often report feelings of disconnect from their parents, well into adulthood. This can also lead to social issues in interactions with others in life.

The author went on to get a degree and get his dream job. He got married, had two daughters, and has made a real effort to be a steadfast and active presence in his daughters’ lives. He was also recently offered a promotion recently, which would have required frequent travel. After careful consideration, the author decided he didn’t want to miss out on any time with his daughters.

The promotion was recently brought up at a family event, and the author’s father asked why he would choose to pass on the opportunity to further his career. The author answered honestly that he didn’t want his daughters to feel like he had abandoned them by travelling for work. His father became quite offended by this sentiment.

The father replied that there was no issue with travelling for work, at which point the author reminded his father that he had always been vocal about how he hated moving around so much as a child. The military father then went on to tell his son that he was ‘ungrateful’, that he hadn’t been an absent father, and that his son was ‘unpatriotic’ and should ‘move to Canada if he hates America so much’.

What do you think? Is the author truly ungrateful and unpatriotic for not wanting to have the same childhood he did, with a father who travelled so much being in the military? Or is the author entitled to have whatever lifestyle he wishes for his family, and his feelings about his own childhood are entirely valid?

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