Reflections of a three-time Air Force Academy parent

Dr. Dwijen Misra was taken by surprise when his oldest son announced he wanted to attend the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

The Michigan-based surgeon asked him, “Don’t you have to serve in the military?”

“That’s why I’m choosing the academy. I wanted to do something meaningful, Dad,” his son said.

“That moment I realized my wife and I had done an amazing job. And what happened after that was the best journey of my life,” Misra remembers.

Two years later, his daughter made the same decision to attend. They earned their commissions and graduated from the Academy in 2012 and 2014. Misra’s youngest child is a cadet third class at the Academy now and set to graduate in 2020.

Misra’s experiences as a three-time cadet parent have instilled in him a sense of pride for his children’s accomplishments and vision and a sense of purpose to positively impact the Academy. He now serves as the inaugural chairperson for the Parents Leadership Council (PLC), coordinated by the United States Air Force Academy Endowment to help direct private philanthropy to Academy programs.

In addition, the PLC, through its volunteers and its connections to other Academy parent programs, can help build the community of parents as they watch their children move through the Academy toward their first assignments as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force.

“We're all on the same page,” Misra said. “These kids didn't get here on their own. They made the choice, but the enduring edifice of their character was started by their parents. . . . And how wonderful it is that you’re part of a network of other parents who've been through this. Having another parent to talk to, to be part of this community, is invaluable.”

The PLC is part of the Parent and Family Giving program at the Endowment.

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