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  • A father's story

    I have a story that I would like to relate to those here in hopes that someone may be able to help me. Please bear with me.

    I am a father of 3 who lost custody of my children due to a bad marriage and a society that tended to give custody to mothers whether they were suited to raise children or not. That was in 1998. My kids ranged in age from 8-12. I would never see them or talk to them again until 6 months ago.

    As fate would have it, due to my job I found myself in the same state that 2 of my children were rumored to be in, for a class that I had to take for my job. I found out that they were there through an old, old contact. When I got back home I contacted my oldest son. He in turn had my youngest daughter call me. She was very angry with me. She believed that I had abandoned them and it was touch and go for a few phone calls.

    Sometime in November she had told me that she had enlisted in the army and her date to leave was January 4. I was 1200 miles away. I hadn't seen her since she was 8 years old. They were legally adults now, their mother could no longer stand in the way of us talking to each other.

    Over those months I let the children talk at their own pace and tell me what it was they wanted to say and I allowed the communication to go at their own pace. It was slow moving and the first of the year was approaching fast. I wanted to see her before she shipped out.

    At the last minute my boss said he would cover my shift for me if I wanted to go see her. I left out of Indianapolis on a Thursday (12-30) morning at 4am and drove to Kingsville, Texas. I arrived at 1 am Friday (12-31) morning. My oldest son met me and his sister/my daughter was with him. We got a chance to talk for a few hours before I had to get some sleep and leave out to see my dad in Sanderson. On my way back from Sanderson I grabbed more sleep and met my son and daughter again on Sunday afternoon (1-1) for a few more hours before she would leave out and I had to get back on the road.

    I got a chance to meet her 2 year old son whom she was leaving behind with his father and I also met my son's 2 year old daughter as well. I asked my son to make sure his sister made her bus on time and to let her use his phone to call me one more time. He promised he would. When I was leaving, my daughter hugged me and said she didn't want to let me go since she had just gotten me back in her life again, she didn't want to lose me. I knew how she felt.

    I crawled back in the car and headed north. I made it back to Indianapolis late Monday evening.

    My daughter called me before she got on the bus and headed for San Antonio. She kept me posted up until they checked them in the following day.

    This is where my story ends.

    I had asked my daughter to write down my address and write me when she was allowed to send out mail. She put the address in her cell phone and never wrote it on paper. I doubt she was allowed to keep her phone.

    I don't know how the army does things. I don't know when or how many letters they are allowed to write or if they are allowed to get mail. I don't know anything really.

    Is there anyone here who can tell me what goes on and what the protocol is? I just want to know that everything is alright. I am guessing they would contact her mother as far as next of kin so I doubt I would be told anything at all.

    This is why I am coming here. If anyone can tell me the way things are done at Fort Jackson and what is and is not allowed I sure would appreciate it. I really don't want to lose contact again if I can help it.

    Thanks for bearing with me.

  • #2
    Re: A father's story

    Fort Jackson
    Families of Soldiers in Training -
    Soldier Mail -
    I know your daughter will enjoy the mail received from you.
    Graduation -
    Graduation is going to be her best day in ten weeks. You gunna be part of that?


    • #3
      Re: A father's story


      Thank you very much for this information, I do appreciate this.

      I checked the links and I saw the example for the mail but that looks like an example and not a direct address. How can I go about finding out where she is and how to address a letter to her with the proper location on it?
      Last edited by Janus; January 20th, 2011, 05:11 PM. Reason: adding information


      • #4
        Re: A father's story

        "If at the end of this time you haven't heard from him or her, call the Fort Jackson Installation Operations Center at (803) 751-7671 for assistance in determining their location. Before you call, please check with other Family members or friends of your Soldier to see if they were contacted."

        Try that number or try seeing if your son (either directly or through her mom) knows her address.


        • #5
          Re: A father's story

          Originally posted by MPThink View Post
          try seeing if your son (either directly or through her mom) knows her address.
          This is your best course of action, the rest will be like beating your head against the wall


          • #6
            Re: A father's story

            Does anyone know of or have an ex-wife who thinks that if she can make your life **** by holding back something that you would really like to have she will for no other reason than to make you miserable? That's my ex-wife. I can ask my son but when you are 1200 miles away he may or may not. He grew up with his sister, the reality of her being enlisted hasn't registered with him yet.

            I would like to try and call the listed number. I saw it on the page but wasn't sure that I could call it and ask that particular question. In this day and time getting info over the phone is getting harder and harder and I can see why.

            Divorce (in most cases) is the gift that keeps on giving. (whether you want it to or not)


            • #7
              Re: A father's story

              Just want to bring this thread up to date. I called the number that MPThink listed and the officer/gentlemen that answered was extremely helpful and gave me the address for my daughter. I am quite elated about this and will be writing her today!!! Thanks all for the helpful information.


              • #8
                Re: A father's story

                Glad to hear that, Janus. I didn't think it would be that easy, as RSP NCO said, but that's awesome that it was!


                • #9
                  Re: A father's story

                  The first time you write her, send some stationary, envelopes, & stamps.


                  • #10
                    Re: A father's story

                    Originally posted by Squash View Post
                    The first time you write her, send some stationary, envelopes, & stamps.
                    Great advice here. Nothing stinks more than running short on stamps.