By Chad Robichaux –
It’s an honor for me to be tucked in the middle of 3-generations of Robichaux Marines! My father, my son, Hunter, and I all joined the Marine Corps at 17-years old and surprisingly, we ALL began at 3rd Battalion Marine Corps Recruit Depot – San Diego. In light of Father’s Day and the fact that my dad passed away about a year ago, it leads me to reflect on my experiences having a military father and being a military father myself.
Unlike Hunter and I, my father entered the Marines out of desperation. Sadly, he was the driver in a car accident that killed his best friend. That incident led him to join the Marines in hopes that he’d go to Vietnam and DIE. Between the horror of carrying his guilt and the challenges he faced in Vietnam, my father lived a very broken life. That brokenness made my young life a huge challenge as well, but with life’s challenges, you can make one of two choices; You can fall into self-pity and waste away, or you can choose to take that pain and use it to propel you forward. I decided to move forward by choosing to join the Marines myself. I was looking for a clean slate, as I took on the biggest challenge a 17-year old can take…to become a Recon Marine!
Just after one year after I joined the Marines, I met Kathy one night while out with some friends. I soon realized that I had someone to share my life with, and we were married one year later. Only 12 months after our marriage, my future Marine came into this world. Hunter was actually born on base at Twenty-Nine Palms, CA, where he was greeted at the hospital by my entire recon platoon! My priorities changed and it was no longer solely about what “I” wanted. I realized how hard it was to be in the military and raise a young family. I’ve earned many accolades and titles in my life, but the one I’m most proud of is the title of “DAD” to my three wonderful children, Hunter, Haili and Hayden!
On this Father’s Day, I also find myself reflecting on those military fathers who have to balance their priorities between serving our nation, while serving and leading their families. I would like to say to ALL dads who make the choice to be a great father; your legacy lives on; to those Warriors that are in harm’s way, stay safe; and to those who served, thank you; to those who keep that delicate balance and do both well; God bless you!