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Joshua Cline’s mind is focusing on strengthening his leadership skills this summer. His heart, however, belongs to something completely different.
Cline, 20, a University of Kentucky student from Rineyville, is spending a month in the Leadership Training Course at Fort Knox, a program for ROTC participants who need to catch up to graduate as an officer.
Cline, however, is one of a few cadets who also is a parent, and despite his family being just miles away, he must spend the month apart from them, including Father’s Day.
Cline has a long line of service members in his family and decided it would be a good career for him and for his new family, consisting of his fiancee, Abigail Taylor, and his sons, Thomas and Charles.
“The military’s always been good to my family,” he said.
But Cline knew while his decision was right for his future, it would be difficult to be apart from Taylor and his sons, who are 4 years old and 9 months old.
“I knew that, in my heart, it would be forever away,” he said.
Cline already is somewhat accustomed to the separation as he spends his weeks at college and comes home on weekends.
Cline said his first child changed his life, even prompting him to go to college, something he hadn’t really considered until then.
“It put a real focus on my life,” he said.
He said his peers tell him they can’t imagine being a father.
“I can’t imagine a life without being a dad,” he said.
Cline knows a career in the military likely will mean future separations from his family, so he’s looking at this as preparation.
He was upset to be away for his youngest son’s first Father’s Day, but he wants Taylor and his boys to “celebrate like I’m still there,” he said.
As Cline contemplates his future, one where he doesn’t have to live apart from Taylor or his children, there is only one word he can think of to describe it.
“Perfect,” he said. “Just perfect.”
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@ thenewsenterprise.com.