War and Peace

In a time of conflict, more than the military faces change, hardship and separation. Sequoit families feel the pain and pride of war.

When you marry a soldier, you marry the military.

Being part of a military family comes with much more than the average citizen may realize. Difficulties like hardships with family at home, one adult in the house, and a sense of emptiness all come with having a parent in the U.S. Army. There are sacrifices the soldier makes left and right not only for his/her country, but for their family as well. Sophomore David Dalton belongs to of one of those families.

Dalton, his two siblings and mother have been impacted by having a family member in the military. A big portion of his family is involved in the military lifestyle. Not only is his father in the military, but he has also had uncles serve time in Vietnam, andserve in the Navy, as well as worked as an investigator in  Army. Although all these family members are a part of the armed forces, David’s father being involved and deployed quite often takes the greatest toll on him.

Dalton’s dad, Patrick Dalton, is Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army. Sergeant Dalton has spent a lot of time away from home, spending four separate tours across the globe. He spent time in Afghanistan from January through June 2006, and April 2007 through July 2008. He also was deployed in Iraq January through September 2003, and January 2004 through March 2005. Sergeant Dalton has spent a total of three years and six months away from his family, the states, and home all together.

For Dalton, it was difficult to not having a father present at home. The little things kick in like playing catch out in the front yard, hearing how their day went, and having someone to learn life lessons from. But, someone must take the father figure role while Sergeant Davis is on duty.

Every second Dalton’s Dad spent away from home, his mother, Danielle Dalton, was there to support him and his little brother and sister. She not only took the challenge of being a motherly figure, but a fatherly figure as well. She was there in the yard throwing the ball and taking on all the responsibilities left for her. Danielle Dalton also kept spirits high in the household, reminding Dalton and his siblings of the situation they were in.

“I’d like to thank my mother because she raised me through the tough times not having my dad around,” Dalton said. “She told me he was fighting for what he loves and he is being a hero which made me view things in a different perspective. He is my role model and someone I will always look up to. My father is a great man and I love him for everything he does and has done.”

When Sergeant Dalton is not on duty protecting his country, he is working his other job 24/7: taking care of his family that missed him dearly. He spends all his time at home taking advantage of every moment with his family.  But, nothing quite hits home than when Sergeant Dalton and his son are reunited. The second Dalton sees his father after a long tour of being across the globe, it’s a sight to see.

“It’s a joy to see him walk off of the plane,” David said. “My mind is always racing of all the questions I want to ask him, but I’m just so happy to have him home knowing he is safe.”

Back home, Dalton is overwhelmed by the company of his father and all the time they missed together. He takes advantage of every moment and spendd every second he can with his father. The small things begin to kick in for him: playing video games and making jokes, things that every kid takes for granted with his father. All the activities he missed out on for that year, he does with his dad as soon as he can.

David loves his father and supports his him with all his decisions. He understands what Sergeant Dalton does for a living and is very proud of his father. In a time of peace, David is one of the happiest kids alive and feels very fortunate with the time he gets to spend with his dad. He seizes every moment while his dad is by his side at home and couldn’t be more thankful. It has taught him a lot about life and is the reason why he is the boy he is today.

“We take the littlest things for granted in our lives,” Dalton said. “With family, we need to cherish every moment we have with loved ones.”

David and his family are proud to be a military family.