First Lt. William Edwards rehearses with his children Elena, 8, who plays drums, Jacob, 11, on bass, and David, 12, playing keyboard. Edwards was selected to receive the Military Fatherhood Award by the Fatherhood Initiative. He will be presented the award the week of Father's Day.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Fort Jackson 1st Lt. William Edwards has been selected as the recipient of the Military Fatherhood Award by the Fatherhood Initiative, the organization announced Tuesday.

Edwards, who is assigned to Company E, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, was among the 450 men originally nominated for the award, and was named one of the three finalists presented to voters on the National Fatherhood Initiative's Facebook page. In the end, Edwards received the most votes.

"It's awesome," Edwards said. "It's shocking. I'm surprised that I won. The other two guys are great fathers, and everyone had a great story."

The National Fatherhood Initiative will present Edwards with the Military Fatherhood Award in a ceremony scheduled to take place at Fort Jackson the week of Father's Day, which is June 17.

"My kids are really excited about all the support we've had on Facebook," Edwards said.

While deployed in Iraq for more than a year, Edwards stayed involved in his four children's day-to-day activities through letters, e-mail and webcam conversations. He also shot and edited original video of his daily activities during deployment to help stay connected with his family.

Coordinating responsibilities with the Army and his family has required discipline, even when deployments are not involved, Edwards said. He makes sure each of his children, who range in age from 6 to 12, gets his or her own day with him during the week.

He also plays in a band with them, called Eddie's Experiment.

The oldest child, David, plays keyboards in the band. Elena, 8, plays drums, while Jacob, 11, plays bass. Luke, 6, is currently happy to dance as the band plays.

Edwards said the band might be playing in front of an audience this summer.

"We're in talks right now," he said. "It would be sometime in June, but there's no official date. It's for a festival in the Columbia area."

Page last updated Thu May 31st, 2012 at 08:26