For Will and Carrie, who have also been learning that a tradition of service doesn't make sending him off to war any easier...
For three years, I knew this day would come. I thought I would be prepared. Coming from a family whose proud military heritage dates to this country's founding, and having served in the Marines for a quarter-century and lost a brother to war-related causes, I felt ready for any challenge military life might bring.
I was not.
Postscript: Perusing the unit displays at an airshow one year, I flippantly asked what could possibly inspire a person to join EOD. With something bordering on contempt for my flippancy, the sailor behind the table gave the same answer as Zumwalt's son, and I was ashamed.