"September 11, 2001, was a day that changed America forever. The magnitude of that attack was terrible, its motivation inexplicable, and its result shocking. Those whom we lost on that fateful day will forever hold a place in our hearts and in the history of our great country."- Governor Sarah Palin
The Anchorage Daily News and other outlets have reported that Track Palin, 18, son of Todd Palin and Alaska Governor Sarah Heath Palin, has enlisted in the U.S. Army. (See his picture on right.)
Young Palin will report to Fort Benning, GA, this week, along with John Bates, his friend and a fellow graduate of Wasilla High School. The ADN headlines reads, "Alaska's First Son will Soon Trade His Hockey Uniform for Khaki." (Track has been an All-Alaska hockey star who also played part of his senior year in Michigan.)
Palin and Bates enlisted on September 11, 2007, the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the U.S.
The mission of the Fort Benning infantry divisions is "to focus on the close, personal, violent Infantry fight," says Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski, the chief of infantry..
Track has three younger sisters: Willow, Bristol, and Piper (see picture of Piper on right).
On Gov. Palin's recent visit to soldiers in Kuwait (see picture on right), she noted that Track had expressed an interest in military service. She added that he had her support in pursuing such a career.
Currently, only 5 members of Congress (including presidential candidate Duncan Hunter) have offspring serving in the military. It's not known if any other Governor has a child serving in the military.
Gov. Palin has declined to comment. The Palin family wants to keep private some aspects of his decision, spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said.
Track was adamant about not wanting publicity, according to a military spokesman.
The young man's only public statement has been as follows: "Joining the military is something I've been considering for a while now. I've always been competitive and look forward to the challenges that will come as I answer the call and serve my country."
Note from Steve: As Governor Palin knows, the people who support her for the vice-presidency and, ultimately, for the presidency, wish only the best for her and her family. Track continues a tradition where the the name "Palin" stands for everything that is best about America.
Stephen R. Maloney -- Ambridge, PA