‘Congratulations, son — I’m proud of you’

ADDITION Father Son Guardsmen
A tear courses down the face of Seth Dupont Thursday at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Mass., as he listens to his father via videoconference from Iraq say how proud he is of him.Peter Pereira / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Seth Dupont, a 17-year-old high school junior, arrived Thursday at Westover Air Force Base to take the oath of enlistment to the National Guard. But he was not expecting the person who administered it.

Dupont's father, Lt. Col. Daniel Dupont, appeared via video teleconference from his post in Iraq to induct his son.

"Well, stand up, state your name and raise your right hand," the elder Dupont told his boy.

Tears welled up as Seth Dupont repeated the oath; then he told his father he loved him.

"Congratulations, son," his father said. "I'm proud of you, man. I love you, too. You made a good, strong decision."

After he graduates from New Bedford High School, Seth will go to Fort Rucker in Alabama, where he'll receive individual advanced training as an air traffic controller, with plans of one day becoming a helicopter pilot.

He said he knew his father would be observing the ceremony but did not know he'd be giving the oath. "Dad inspired me," he said.

Daniel Dupont, 29-year Guard veteran, is serving in Baghdad as a liaison officer to the multinational corps.

The event included some good-natured ribbing between father and son.

After giving the oath, Daniel Dupont ran his hands through his military-cut cropped hair and joked, "You wish you could look sexy like this." His son replied, "Don't worry, Dad, give me a few months."