Story by Staff Sgt. Constance Quintin
KABUL, Afghanistan - Kevin LaCross and his son Dillon will be celebrating Fathers Day together like most fathers and sons. Only this year it will be in Afghanistan.
Both are Soldiers with the Vermont Army National Guard and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
This father and son have more in common now than ever before. Both are light-wheeled vehicle mechanics, assigned to Company B, 186th Brigade Support Battalion, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain), and are stationed at Camp Phoenix in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Dad, Sgt. Kevin LaCross, is serving on his second deployment and son, Spc. Dillon LaCross, is on his first. They have coordinated to have their days off together to do things such as play pool and horseshoes, watch movies or just hang out in their rooms.
Both agreed that the deployment has brought them closer together.
“We wanted to deploy together not only for the memories but to look out for each other. Not many people can say they deployed with their father and I am glad to have this opportunity,” said Dillon.
Kevin is proud of his son and reminisced about a memorable moment when his son was growing up.
“When he was little we bought him a Harley Davidson bicycle that made sounds. He took all my medals off my dress greens and pinned them on his chest, then he put on his Doctor Seuss hat, his sun glasses, grabbed his harmonica and off he went around the block riding his bike,” said Kevin. “He was a caring and thoughtful child and I wouldn't have changed anything about him growing up. I'm so proud to have him as my son.”
Kathy LaCross takes comfort in knowing her husband and son are together and commented on how proud Kevin is of his son.
“One of Kevin's proudest moments was when we went down to Fort Jackson to Dillon's graduation from boot camp. One night Kevin brought Dillon back to the barracks by himself and they sat in the car and talked for awhile, both a little emotional,” said Kathy LaCross. “Kevin said Dillon got out of the car to go inside, he watched him walk back ramrod straight and thought to himself, ‘That is my son.’ When he came back I could tell this was both a proud and wistful moment for Kevin and he said our son has grown up Kath; and he almost looked scared.”
One thing is for sure. This will be a very memorable Father’s Day for both.