By Brian Sutton
USAREC Public Affairs
January 12, 2017
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- The deputy commanding general for U.S. Army Recruiting Command hosted a panel for mothers here Jan. 6 to discuss the powerful influence they have in their children's lives.
Brig. Gen. Donna Martin moderated a four-person panel discussion as part of the Army's All-American Bowl events Jan. 3 to 7.
"A mother's support for her child is absolutely critical," Martin said. She said she understands the role mother's play in critical life decisions for their children. Big decisions, such as consideration of a career in the Army, might often involve the consultation of a parent, especially mothers. Educating the parents of a prospect may be just as important as educating the prospect himself.
"(Parents) need to give their kids the best information available so they can make the best decisions possible," Martin said.
Martin, the mother of a 20-year-old, said she would want to take an active role in helping her son decide on a career in the Army.
"If a recruiter talks to my son and doesn't come and talk to me, he's not joining," Martin said. "When we talk to young people about joining the Army we have to talk to the parents."
Argra Thompson, a mother of three and panel member, said she was a pivotal influence in the career paths her children have taken.
"(The children and I) all sat down and discussed their plans. I said 'give me some feedback.' Some had plans. Some not so much.
"So, I asked them, 'Where is the Army on your list?'
"The response was, 'It's on there, but it's not up there.'
"Well, I said, 'Put it up there, because the Army gives you everything you could possibly want.'"
And they did.
The result of those discussions with her children led to all three children serving in the Army. One son has completed his service, one son is about to leave for Basic Combat Training, and a daughter has finished her basic training and is on her way to her Advanced Individual Training in her chosen career field.