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I am in the midst of deciding how to move forward with this blog space since I am no longer handling parent outreach for new parents of cadets at The Citadel (see previous post). It is an interesting journey for me. I began this blog after my son graduated from The Citadel as a way to pass along some of the things I learned as the parent of a cadet. I never intended to still be involved after his graduation. What I had not anticipated was how sharing my journey would resonate with so many strangers.

Along with this blog space I began posting Facebook groups for parents of the entering class starting with the class of 2016 the summer of 2012. More and more parents were finding my blog and reaching out to me via email and phone that starting a group seemed the efficient way of communicating with a group of parents who all seemed to have the same questions.

One year rolled into the next and before I realized it, maintaining the groups became all consuming. Over the years I tried to alert various administrators at the school that more needed to be done to keep parents, most of whom were paying the tuition for their students, in the loop communication wise. No one on campus had the capacity to take on the task of answering the volume of questions new parents have. It was more than that really. The staff and faculty didn’t seem to understand the questions many new parents unfamiliar with the school have each year.

Sometime in 2017 someone in the admissions office posted a series of groups on Facebook using the same name formula I had been using for years and posted groups for parents of the class of 2023 – 2030. I discovered the groups when I visited the admissions office Facebook page and saw them linked there in late 2017. I asked the parent liaison and an admissions staff person about it and asked if they wanted to take over the 2022 parent group. The reply came back that I should continue with the parents of the class of 2022. It was in the fall of 2018 when I was told the admissions office and parent volunteers of the Citadel Family Association wanted to handle all parent outreach.

I tried to phase out my participation in the parent groups I created to ease my transition away from an effort that has taken up a good bit of my time since 2012. Each of the groups now have parent volunteer admins in them. I remain in the groups I created, but communicate only with the admins not directly on the groups. The only exception was this past month when a 2017 graduate was killed in a horrible training accident at Camp Pendleton. It was important to let the members of The Citadel family know about the accident so they could be of support to the grieving parents of the grad.

The challenge now is to move on personally and professionally. I have a gift for finding things that really need to be done, but do not pay anything. It would be nice to be compensated for some of the work I do. Hopefully something will work out where I find something I have the gifts and talents for that will also bring in a pay check.

In the days and weeks ahead I will use this space to share thoughts on a wide variety of topics. As the chaplain for the fire department here in my hometown and also a long time advocate for support for our military and other people who put themselves in harms way to do their jobs, I suspect many of my entries will relate to my experiences in these circles.

A big part of my personal and professional time is also spent in the interfaith community in Atlanta. I am a speaker for the Interfaith Speakers Network and do project work for the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, so I expect some of my musings here will be about my experiences in this realm as well.

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