Vincent Trent was glad for many things about his long military service, and one of them was learning how to build and maintain the strength to carry any of his younger children on his shoulders away from the others and carry them off for some Dad time.
It was Milton's turn, a day after Sgt. Trent discovered the nine-year-old's seriousness about wanting to help with the rent.
Milton at nine years old still weighed less than some packs than the sergeant had carried, and was a lot more fun to have around one's shoulders as father and son took a walk a little ways into the foothills of the Blue Ridge.
“Son, I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate and respect you for wanting to make my life and Melvin's life easier by adding on to the rent payment, man to man, father to son.”
The affectionate little boy just kissed his father all over his head, for that was all he wanted to hear in life, and Sgt. Trent just let that sit for a little while so his son could just soak up that love.
“I'd like to know why you felt the need right now, though,” Sgt. Trent said later.
Milton had a ready answer.
“Well, it's like that world Velma [his 11-year-old sister] learned from Captain Ludlow the other day: I've got five scenarios for you.”
“Let's hear it, son, after you spell scenario.”
“Very good, son. A general could have done no better.”
“Actually, we think Captain Ludlow was talking with a general – something about the army needing to appoint a man to coordinate veteran's affairs specifically for Covid-19 issues in every region, and that it needed to be at least a colonel.”
Sgt. Trent considered this … he knew what colonel he would choose if it were up to him, and if a major could sneak in, he likewise knew who he would choose there … but, he returned his attention to his son.
“And so Captain Ludlow described a scenario in which that would be necessary?”
“Oh, he must have had a billion, Dad, but me? I'm just content with five.”