Thursday, June 14, 2012


Proud Papa: Junior Breaks Out

Jailer Jr.'s graduation from Riverbend High School was a can't-miss event, which I attempted not to miss over an extremely slow Internet connection.  I was grateful for the principal's "shout out" during his introduction, which at least let my son know my heart was with him though my body is very much still in Afghanistan.

I have actually been quite caught up in Junior's travails through his remarkable college application process.  After applying to all his "dream" schools, he was eventually accepted to UVA and VA Tech.  These are great schools to be sure, but they were not his top choices.  Then, after being put on Carnegie Mellon's priority waiting list and being passed over, he was unexpectedly accepted three days later.

Meanwhile, in the space of a couple of months he was:
  • given an ROTC scholarship
  • lost it (medical disqualification)
  • got it back (waiver)
  • was offered an upgrade to a full-ride for Electrical Engineering
  • lost it through a dizzying sequence of events
  • then (finally) got it back as well!
Today, I'm thrilled (and very humbled) to say that Junior has a full Air Force ROTC scholarship to attend a top-10 engineering school.

Through it all the entire Jailer clan learned to appreciate the power of prayer, the faithfulness of God, and the help He provides through some truly wonderful people He put in our path.  Indeed, Junior will be hard-pressed to take this tremendous opportunity for granted after all this drama!  As an added bonus, he will be just an hour's drive from his namesake--my true father in the faith--and his wonderful wife, who are excited about watching out for him through his college years.  Since we expect to spend three of his college years in the Far East, Mrs. Jailer and I are very grateful for this blessing on top of all the others!

If you will indulge one final father's boast about his son, please stop by Teen Ink and check out Junior's essay about Stonewall Jackson. I'm biased, of course, but I happen to think he developed a very balanced and nuanced view of a complicated and controversial leader.  Here's a little taste:
Jackson was a loyal soldier, strong disciplinarian, daring tactician, charismatic leader, and imposing opponent for the Union to be sure. However, his talents were only fully effective under a certain set of conditions – familiar territory, extreme mobility, tentative adversaries, and dependable allies. When such conditions weren’t met, the results were at best mixed. That isn’t to diminish the importance of Jackson’s generalship. He routed the Union several times and changed the balance of power in the Virginia theater of the war significantly. His audacity, had he survived, may well have brought the South a tactical victory at Gettysburg on the chaotic first day, a strategic inflection point which in turn may have won the war before Grant could even step up into supreme command. Still, his genius needs to be evaluated within its limitations. He was a man in his moment, a weapon to be employed for a particular purpose, yet who even then always seemed to operate just inches from disaster. In the end, disaster found him.
If you appreciate what you see, I invite you to leave a comment, give a (generous) rating, and share it with your friends!  You'll do much to encourage a young author!

Oh, and the beautiful and brilliant Jailerette may now stop gagging about all this over-the-top gushing over her older brother ... your turn's coming my dear!


  1. Wow! What an amazing family & YES, your son, a brilliant Writer! Congrats!

    Anita Fortner Jones

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  3. Ah, this reminds me that there IS hope for the next generation. Thank you, God!
    Grace J =)


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