Father balances Parenthood, Service

By Chelbi Mims
April 7, 2011

Everman pictured with son, Shawn, is expected to be deployed in August 2011 to start with Marine boot camp.

Shawn Everman, a Philadelphia native, fears that his 2-year-old son may not know who his father is when he returns from the Marines.

“I’m afraid of what my uncle experienced when he came back from the Gulf War,” Everman said. “When my uncle came home from the Gulf War, my cousin didn’t know who his father was. It took him a while to get used to him.” Everman said. “For me to come back and have my son not know who I am and not being used to having me around, I’m not looking forward to that possibility. So leaving my son is going to be really tough.” Everman said.

Everman lives with his mother, younger sister, his ex-fiancé, Amber and their son, also named Shawn. He says that not only is he afraid his son won’t know who he is; he is also deeply going to miss being there for many of the moments in his child’s life.

“I’m really going to miss being there for the small moments like when he starts talking more or being aware of what things are,” Everman said. “I’m also going to miss playing around with him and watching him take important steps in his life.”

Despite the empty feeling of being away from his family for up to two years, Everman knows his son will be in good hands.

“Amber is nervous because she thinks she’ll be doing it alone,” Everman said. “She has the support of my family and my family will help her out.”

Everman expects to be deployed into the Marines some time in August 2011. He will start out at Military Occupation Specialty School and move on to boot camp from there. He says that his tour can last up to two years.

He is also no stranger to traveling. Born in Lakeland, Fla., he also has lived in San Jose, Calif. but calls Philadelphia his real home.

“I love this city,” Everman said. “I’m going to miss on a Saturday, cracking a beer open and watching whatever game is on TV. I’ll miss my friends and family and who I’m used to seeing every day and not being able to see them virtually at all.”

Once he completes M.O.S. school and boot camp, he can be stationed at any military base that the United States owns throughout the world. For the time being, however, he is uncertain where and when that will be, and whether or not Amber and his son can join him.

“There’s the uncertainty of what is going to happen as far as where I’m going to be stationed,” Everman said. “They can’t come with me to boot camp or M.O.S.school.”

Everman wants to work with air craft. He says it’s not just about working with them and knowing about them, but that he also needs to know them “inside and out,” as he described.

“M.O.S. is extensive training on to do your job for the Marines and the nooks and crannies about how to be successful,” Everman said. “It will teach you how to successfully operate the air craft you are assigned. You have to know every single part of the air craft and how to fix it if something goes wrong. You have to know it inside and out.”

Everman cites his grandfather as one of his main inspirations for wanting to be a Marine. He says that his grandfather instilled a strong sense of patriotism in him. He also says that his family, while upset that he is leaving, is proud that he will be carrying on what he calls “the family business.”

“Ever since I could understand the question ‘what do you want to do with your life,’ becoming a Marine is all I’ve ever wanted to do,” Everman said. “My family is proud that I am carrying out what we call the family business. My uncles and my grandfather served, so I feel that it is my duty to follow in their footsteps.”

When his son comes of age, Everman expects him to enlist in any branch of the military that he desires and serve the minimum four years. He says what his son does with the military after his initial enlistment is up to him, but he at least wants to pass down the family principles.

“I want Shawn to understand the price that is paid for our freedom and liberty,” Everman said. “I want him to have pride in this country and in our military because if it wasn’t for them, life in this society would be drastically different.”

Everman says if there is one thing he could say to anyone about having pride in being an American citizen as well as pride in our military, it would be: “Have a great love for your country, all the service members, past, present and future. If you wish to have a family, make sure they are strong enough to deal with six-month deployments. Make sure they support you because if not, that will make it more difficult than what it is. Just know that if you do become a service member, there is a great pride in knowing you are helping to defend our freedom.”



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Chelbi Mims

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