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It shouldnt come as a surprise that most caring fathers would simply want to be a strong positive influence on their childrens lives. But when they end up following in Dads footsteps, Papa couldnt be more proud.
For one Team McChord family, a daughter didnt just follow in her fathers footsteps, she created her own path.
On May 23, Master Sgt. Jim Clements, 446th Aerospace Medicine Squadron NCOIC of Optometry, witnessed his daughter Monica, transform from Daddys little girl into a brand new second lieutenant during her commencement at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
I was shocked, amazed, and so very proud of her, Jim said upon receiving the news that Monica had been accepted into the academy. I gave her a big hug. Then she went out and pinned the girl she wrestled during a wrestling meet at her school.
The sergeant admits he was strict when raising the new lieutenant, and the rest of his six children, but he didnt always stress the military way as the be-all-end-all in preparing his kids for the game of life.
He showed me one side of the military lifestyle, growing up through the Reserve, Monica said, who majored in behavioral science at the academy. He didnt force the military on any of us kids, but we just gravitated to them naturally with it being so normal to us.
Jim taught his kids the lesson of independence, so they would be able to make these types of choices for themselves.
I wanted her to be independent, Jim, who will have 32 years of military service in November, said. I have always told (my kids) that there is really only one person you can rely on and that is yourself. It really comes down to you as an individual to get things done. Be honest. Have integrity. And its okay to be smart.
The senior Clements also said a friendly sibling rivalry doesnt hurt when growing up either.
Monica is a twin, Jim, who works as an optician for Group Health, said. She and her twin brother have both competed amongst each other for grades and Daddys attention. They had stellar grades and collegiate aspirations.
But Monica was able to get Dads attention during her academy graduation, when he not only pinned on her second lieutenant boards, but also gave her her first salute and Silver Dollar handshake.
It was very exciting and touching, the lieutenant said. I love how the military has come full circle in our family so smoothly and naturally. I am humbled and honored to be such an important part of a very important persons military career and life.
As the enlisted Clements career draws closer to retirement, Monicas career as an officer blooms. The overlap transpired when Monica carried out her first duty ... giving the oath of office to Dad for his last reenlistment over the June Reserve weekend.
I think she can make a great career in the Air Force, Jim, who lives in Roy, said. I see Monica doing very well at anything the Air Force is going to give her. She can always call dad up for advice. She has done it several times already.
Monica doesnt plan on leaving the Air Force anytime soon.
I want to take the time to get my masters (degree) at my first duty station and hopefully use a masters in psychology to get work after the military which wont be for a long time if things pan out right, she said.
Monica is in the process of moving to Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., where she will be a force support officer at Air University.