Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

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November 9, 2012

Saluting Veterans: A Barren County soldier’s parents cope

GLASGOW — For the parents of a soldier, a Facebook message or phone call is the greatest thing they could ask for.

Jeff and Tina Sharp said goodbye to their son, Jacob, shortly after his high school graduation, when he headed off to Army basic training. Two and a half years later, at the age of 20, Jacob Sharp is fighting in Afghanistan and his parents and siblings are left at home to pray.

“It’s just like a piece of me is gone and I feel like I won’t be whole until he’s back on American soil,” Tina Sharp said.

Jeff and Tina helped Jacob sign up when he was 17, so Jacob could get the job he wanted when it was time to go to training. He is now a specialist in the 173rd Airborne Combat Brigade and has been stationed in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, since July. He works in the camp’s armory, maintaining the brigade’s weapons.

“That’s all he ever wanted to do in life, was join the Army,” Jeff Sharp said.

Knowing the country was at war made letting Jacob go more difficult, but Jeff and Tina both said it was important to them that their son did what made him happy.

“If we had stopped him, he wouldn’t have gone through life happy,” Jeff Sharp said.

“My goal with my kids is I want them to do what makes them happy and they follow their conviction and their passion,” Tina Sharp said.

There were plenty of signs throughout his childhood that Jacob would join the Army. He used to decorate his Valentine’s boxes as tanks, Tina Sharp said, and Jeff said he and Jacob played with Aerosoft guns a lot. Jacob was in Junior Reserved Officers Training Corps (JROTC) in high school, and enjoyed weapons. He was always a responsible, mature child who knew what he wanted, Tina Sharp said, and they supported his decision to enlist.

 

For the full story, read the Nov. 10 print or e-Edition of the Glasgow Daily Times.

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