It seems like most kids go through an "I'm going to join the Army" phase. Considering only about 7,000 people sign up for the Army in an average month (out of millions of high school grads) it also seems most of them grow out of it. But not Brennan Daigle.
Because Brennan Daigle was inducted into the U.S. Army last month for his 10th birthday. Considering those statistics I just cited, you might think his parents are nuts for indulging someone 8 years before he can make a legal decision about this. What kind of parent signs their kid up for the Army before he can vote? Just hold on -- and grab some tissues while you're at it.
Little Brennan has battled embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, since he was 8 years old. Just before his birthday, doctors told his parents he probably had just a month more left to live. So his parents invited 40 soldiers to show up in their hometown, give Brennan an ride on a Humvee and make him an honorary member of the military. I can't think of a better party for a 10-year-old now, can you?
I beat the drum of shaving my head to fight childhood cancer so much that my friends get exhausted, but the fact is, when I hear a kid is sick, something inside of me melts down. I can't say no. To anything. I'll go bald. I'll wear a mohawk. I'll give more money than I can afford to give. I'll do anything for these kids. Because they don't deserve the fate they've been given.
So we make up for it with over-the-top, insane to the outside world ideas and gestures. Stuff that makes them smile, stuff that has meaning to them, if no one else. According to Brennan's mom, in a post on Facebook, this is what means the most to him:
Brennan LOVES ALL things MILITARY!
He also enjoys Hunting, fishing, Playing XBOX 360 (new favorite game... Call of Duty Black Ops) Thanks Adam.
He enjoys shooting his MP .22 and his 243.
Sending a kid off to the military terrifies even the most pro-troops parent I know. They're proud, but military moms are scared too. But the Daigle family won't even get to have that proud/scared/proud/scared tennis match going through their minds. Their son is a "member of the Army" eight years before he would even be required to fill out his selective service paperwork because the fact is he never WILL get to sign that paperwork. I think they made the perfect decision to get their little soldier signed up now.
What do you think? Is there anything you wouldn't do for a sick child?
Image via USACEPublicAffairs/Flickr