“Crisp proud parents.”

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Julius and Doretha Jefferson drove seven hours from Pittsburgh PA to West Point NY, to attend parents day at the US Army’s Military Academy. After a night in the local hotel, they awoke early for breakfast and took the short drive to the campus.

They walk into the stadium, to climb the stairs into the stands with several hundred parents to witness their children enter the parade field. At 8:00 am the commander calls the cadets to attention and suddenly the sounds of marching footsteps are heard in unison.

All the parents stand in amazement watching their children march into the stadium dressed in their uniforms with crisp, creases in alignment from their shoulders along the front of their shirts and pants legs to their spit-shined shoes. Their heads are covered with white eight-point hats revealing their lips, noses, ears and close shaved heads.

Doretha cried when she saw her little girl marching onto the parade field. Her emotions overwhelmed with joy then shock at how much weight she has lost and then her hair shortened reminding her when she was a three-year-old girl.

Julius’s thoughts drift to his little girl riding her bicycle on her own, her first day of school, and her high school graduation. He stands several inches taller, his chest projecting outward with a proud smile adorning his face.

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