Like father, like son

BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer

ST. PETERSBURG – One famous basketball coach suggested a possible injustice that adults have toward youth. He stated that as adults, we tell children to make decisions at a time of their life when they are most fearful, confused, vulnerable, uninformed and unequipped.

These young adults have to figure out what they want to do, where they should live, in what part of the world they should start their career, where they should attend school or what branch of the military should they join.

They are 17 or 18-year-old children with no prior experience in making these type of judgments, and as adults we tell them to make the most important decision of their life.

For Glenn Alexander, Jr., in making his life decision he simply followed a well-traveled and familiar road. He followed the path of his father.

“I’m very proud! It’s a legacy that is continuing. This makes the third generation of the Alexander family entering the military,” said Glen Alexander Sr.  “My father, Ronald Alexander, went to the Navy. I’ve done 20 years between the Marine Corp and the Army. Now, I’m coming to the close of my journey and he’s about to start his journey.”

Glenn, Jr.’s journey has taken him all over the world. With his father taking various military assignment orders, he started high school at Kaiserslautern High School, a private school in Germany. He has gone to Paris, Italy and Amsterdam, to name a few. He credits those experiences for his personal growth and development.

“Because I was in Europe, I got a chance to see the world from different perspectives,” said Glenn, Jr.

He didn’t realize how valuable those different views were until he moved to Florida last year and enrolled in Pinellas Park High School. It was then that he realized how broaden his views on life were.

“They didn’t get a chance to see people in their cultural element,” he said. “It was different. We have to be careful not to judge people who we don’t know and understand. That has been one of my greatest teachings.”

While at Pinellas Park High, he participated in football, basketball and the 5000 Role Models program. Academically, he scored 23 on the ACT.

Now, he begins a new chapter in life. Following graduation, Glenn, Jr. will head out to Ft. Sill Army Base in Lawton, Okla., where he will start basic training. From there he will attend school at Fort Huachuca Army Base in Arizona where he will study geospatial intelligence imagery analyst.

Persons with this training are responsible for analyzing overhead and aerial imagery developed by photographic and electronic means. They provide army personnel with critical information about enemy forces, potential battle areas and combat operations support.

“I’m excited about starting a new chapter in my life,” said Glenn, Jr.  “I’ve always wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps, but to do it better than he did.”

He said his mother and father instilled in him structure, respect and discipline at a young age. This smart young man is willing and able to do anything possible to make the world a better place.

“I have another opportunity to do this. For the first time, I’ve made a life decision.”

That famous basketball coach need not worry about Glenn, Jr. and his life’s decision. He has figured out what he wants to do and has decided on the career path that he will take.

The army will decide where he will live and what part of the world he will travel. He’s an 18-year-old young man whose experiences helped him to make one of the most important decisions of his life. Like father, like son.

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