Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Mayor Daley's Son Enlists

Given some recent posts on Brett Favre and Michael Jordan's brother James, I would be remiss if I didn't give proper recognition to Mayor Daley's son Patrick for enlisting in the military.

Just months after receiving a graduate business degree from the University of Chicago, Mayor Richard Daley's son, Patrick, is joining the U.S. Army with the full support of his father--and despite his mother's heavy heart.

The younger Daley, a onetime West Point cadet who left after his first year, signed enlistment papers several months ago and planned to ship out in October but was dissuaded from reporting immediately, according to a family friend, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"I would bet [his mother, Maggie Daley] asked that he please stay until Christmas," said the friend, who reported that the mayor's wife remains upset about her son's decision to join the military at a time when violence rages in Iraq and U.S. troops also face danger daily in Afghanistan.

But the mayor said Tuesday he never tried to talk his son out of taking the course that, at age 29, he has selected for himself.

"If he wants to do it, he is going to do it," Daley said. "I am very proud of his decision, and I stand by his decision. ... Duty, honor and country. That is what he wants to do."

Daley choked up when asked about his wife's reaction, given her continuing battle against cancer and the heartbreak of losing another son, Kevin, who was 33 months old when he died of complications of spina bifida in 1981.

"It's a challenging time," the mayor replied, his eyes welling up with tears.

....Reached by telephone Tuesday, Patrick Daley declined to comment on his career move.

"I'm not going to say anything," he said, referring questions to mayoral press secretary Jacquelyn Heard.

Heard said no family members other than the mayor would have any comment because Maggie Daley is distraught.

Earlier this year, Patrick Daley received an MBA from the U. of C. That achievement made all the more unusual his decision to enter the Army as a private. Patrick Daley, who would have been commissioned as an Army officer had he stayed at West Point, has chosen the life of an enlisted man.

"That is my son, Patrick," the mayor said. "He wants to start where he believes it is important. He has gone to graduate school, the University of Chicago, with honors, and he would rather do that than anything else. From there, he can make his decision in the military, what he wants to do."

While some will speculate, rather cynically, as to Patrick's motives I am confident they are sincere. Quite simply, there are things in this world bigger than ourselves and the here and the now. It seems that few people are aware of that and even less actually do something about it.


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