Son welcomes stepfather to active duty
March 25, 2010
- SGT Gary Turmelle did the honors of welcoming PFC Daniel Enos, his 41-year-old stepfather, to the Infantry brotherhood.
- Enos previously separated from the Army in 1989 as a specialist.
- Turmelle was on leave from his third deployment to Iraq.
The situation was out of the ordinary when SGT Gary Turmelle placed the blue Infantry cord on PFC Daniel Enos during the Turning Blue ceremony March 18.
While on leave from his third deployment to Iraq, the 24-year-old Turmelle did the honors of welcoming Enos, his 41-year-old stepfather, to the Infantry brotherhood.
"I know he's been wanting this for a while," said Turmelle, who is assigned to 1st Battalion (Airborne), 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. "So I'm just glad to be here and be a part of this."
Turmelle said he counseled the "older" Soldier on what to expect from today's Army. Enos said he initially enlisted in 1986 but separated in 1989 as a specialist after a tour in South Korea left him homesick.
"I've always felt a need to come back," Enos said. "I've regretted leaving the military since 1989."
The decision to re-enlist was a joint decision that involved months of contemplation, said Tina Enos, Turmelle's mother and Daniel's wife of 10 years.
"I grew up in a military family so I did know what to expect," said Tina, whose father was a Soldier. "But, I knew that my husband was sad he got out, so I told him I support him 100 percent."
Enos said military benefits and the retirement package weighed heavily on his decision, but he drew inspiration from Turmelle.
"I have a lot of respect for what he's done," Daniel said. "I'm very proud of him. (Now), I just want to serve my country and do my part."
Although he was the second-oldest Soldier in his basic training company and just made the 42-year-old enlistment cutoff, Enos said he wasn't intimidated.
"I saw younger guys struggling," he said. "You're only as young as you feel, and I feel young."
His performance supported that claim, said Drill Sergeant SSG Jason Reed.
"I noticed he has a take-charge attitude," Reed said.
Older Soldiers often have difficulty meeting the physical requirements, but Reed said that wasn't a problem for Daniel.
"I was 17 when I went through before, and I think I was more prepared mentally and physically for it this time," Daniel said. "It almost seemed easier. It's a good feeling, and I'm proud to be an Infantryman now."
Although the odds of being deployed are favorable, Daniel and Tina are keeping an optimistic outlook on what's to come.
"It's going to be tough," Daniel said. "But I think it will be harder for her being at home alone than me. The camaraderie (in the military) keeps me going."
Tina said the basic training separation was the first time she's ever been alone.
"It was a growing experience, and I've embraced it with open arms," she said. "But I'm learning there's a lot of support for families in the Army. I'm just proud of the two of them for serving our country just like my father did."
Turmelle returns to his unit in Iraq this week. Enos and Tina left Monday for his assignment in Fort Riley, Kan.