In Wartime, Soldiers' Kids Graduate Alone

Parents' duty sets apart students at military-base school
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2008 4:16 PM CDT
Fort Campbell High School students leave for the day on May 7, 2008 in Clarksville, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Josh Anderson)
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(Newser) – Fort Campbell High’s graduation had the usual pomp and circumstance—along with a familiar pall. Many of the seniors crossing the stage did so without a mom or dad watching from the audience. Fort Campbell is the biggest military base high school in the US, and nearly every student at the Tennessee school has, or had, a parent in Iraq or Afghanistan, the AP reports. It’s a painful bond for the 116 students.

“You don't even have to explain it most of the time; everybody feels the same way,” said one senior. Her dad did watch her graduate—via Internet feed in Iraq. Still, another student says that being in a military family "makes you that much stronger. I wouldn't want to change it, to tell you the truth. It's something different—I'm proud of it."