The last year of high school is tough enough without distractions.
This past weekend, kids from Killeen, Texas, graduated from high school. For 55 of those students, they managed to get through that last year with a heavy burden -- 54 dads and 1 mom deployed to Iraq.
The Killeen, Texas, schools serve the massive Fort Hood Army base. For the past four years, the schools and the Army have worked out a system of video conferences to allow soldiers at forward bases to see their kids graduate. Monitors are set up to allow kids to see that Dad or Mom is watching, thumbs-up gestures and signs are displayed to a monitor as kids walk off the stage.
Not one of the kids I talked with while preparing this story wallowed in self pity or anger. All of them spoke with pride of their parent's courage and patriotism. School officials told me this has become the new normal for these kids, accustomed as they are to frequent moves and parents missing big events.