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    A Mother Knows Best

    A mother knows best

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Zachary S Eshleman | 190509-N-VS214-0001 Arlington, Tenn. (May 9, 2019) Patricia Slye puts the shoulder...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Zachary S Eshleman 

    Navy Recruiting Command

    ARLINGTON, Tenn. – Patricia Slye felt a strange peace on the day she stood next to her husband, Jeffery, at the Naval Academy and watched her oldest son Robert approach them with a shaved head and large, black-framed glasses. It was induction day and time for them to leave their son in strangers’ hands, but as she looked around at the academy’s architecture, the formations marching by, and back at her son’s face, fear and apprehension gave way to pride. She knew he would excel.

    Patricia saw indications of what Robert’s future would hold from when he was very young. “From the very beginning Rob showed me he was extremely bright,” she said, “there were just things I noticed as a mother and as an educator about how organized he was and the way he questioned things.”

    She said she always wanted to make sure he was able to meet his full potential, so she tried to challenge him academically and facilitate him being able to participate in any sports and extracurricular activities he wanted to.

    “My mom and dad were both extremely supportive in terms of education and everything else; they really wanted me to succeed,” said Lt. Robert Slye. “They were the type to be at every sporting event if they could and were always right there to help.”

    The idea to join the Navy came about, in part, because of the Slyes’ proximity to Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington, Tennessee. Seeing the Sailors around the base and some of his friends’ parents who were in the Navy brought the possibility of service into his mind.

    All her work pushing him to be better and raising him seemed to pay off for Patricia on the day he found out he had gotten early acceptance into the Navy Academy.

    “I was elated for him,” she said, “I knew it was everything he had worked so hard for, and that he was about to get to see all his dreams and aspirations come true.”

    She also expressed how emotional it was to know he was going to have to leave and face the challenges of the academy, but she knew the importance of getting out into the world and experiencing life to its fullest potential.

    However, along with a sense of relief and excitement, she also couldn’t help but feel a sense of loss, knowing that her young teenager would never be the same again.

    Patricia’s eyes welled up with tears as she remembered who she was then and how she felt when she and her husband dropped him off, and how now she knows everything was truly worth it.

    “If I could go back and say to that mother dropping him off, I would just tell myself that he will have a wonderful career, and a wonderful life,” said Patricia, “He will be exposed to things that I never had the opportunity to see, and it would be worth it in the end, for him and for us.”

    She also felt a sense of duty to support him through everything for the sake of the country and the Navy. “It wasn’t just my freedom and life he was protecting; I knew he would be helping a world of people,” she said.
    “How can you argue with that.”

    Eight years later, Robert, got stationed at Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, in Millington, Tennessee, just a 15-minute drive from where he was raised and where his parents still live. His mother and father were ecstatic to have their son close to them once more.

    “I couldn’t have been happier when he got sent here,” said Patricia, “I just felt like so many prayers had been answered, and we were finally able to reconnect and make up for missed holidays and lost time.”
    Patricia said she feels the job of being a mother forces you to be humble and to listen to your children, supporting them in what’s best, not necessarily what’s easiest. Thanks to these hard times and sacrifices, she now gets to see her son living a successful and fulfilling life.

    “I had to tell myself you can’t hold him back,” she said, “as emotional as it is to see your child leave and let him go, sometimes, it’s the best thing for everybody.”

    Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, 18 Navy Recruiting Districts and eight Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 1,330 recruiting stations across the world. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.

    For more news from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, go to http://www.cnrc.navy.mil. Follow Navy Recruiting on Facebook (www.facebook.com/NavyRecruiting), Twitter (@USNRecruiter) and Instagram (@USNRecruiter).



    Date Taken: 05.10.2019
    Date Posted: 05.10.2019 17:39
    Story ID: 322013
    Location: ARLINGTON, TN, US 

    Web Views: 433
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    A Mother Knows Best