“Mom, Dad … I’m all right,” said our son Alec. When a parent hears those words, you wait for the next sentence with trepidation. He launched into the second sentence that went like this: “But, I’m calling so that you don’t worry when you hear the news.”
Our son is presently at Ft. Lewis in Washington participating in Warrior Forge, the U.S. Army Cadet Command’s flagship training and assessment exercise held each summer. According to the Warrior Forge website, “Every Army ROTC Cadet hoping to pin-on the gold bar of an Army lieutenant must successfully complete Warrior Forge.”
On July 9, a 19-year-old cadet in our son’s platoon went missing during land navigation training during early morning hours. He was found later – dead. You don’t expect for your college kid to go to ROTC summer camp and not return. It’s every parent’s nightmare, and our hearts go out to Daniel Miller’s family.
The Army has not published any more news, other than the initial report and news about a memorial service for Daniel. You can bet there are a lot of parents of cadets watching and waiting to hear what went wrong.
The cadets got their cell phones back on July 10 to make their calls home and we haven’t heard from our son since then. We anxiously await the call on August 2 when he’ll be back in Missouri, on duty at Ft. Leonard Wood, just down the road from us.
Please keep Daniel Miller’s family in your thoughts and prayers, and also all the brave young women and men who are in training this summer for future service to our country.