The Ovard Children & Grandchildren
(always under construction - coming soon... PICTURES!)
To respect our children and grandchildren's right to define their own identity as each would see fit, we don't mention them by name. But we are exceeding pleased and proud of all.
One of the Ovard children is currently serving our Country and community in Afghanistan as a squad leader in "forward recognizance" in the United States Marine Corp - one of the most dangerous assignments. He joined specifically to go fight to defend our country, but prepared before joining in many ways. He was an honor student in school, became a champion competitive wrestler and a marksman with a rifle. He stated that other than the 20 mile runs with a hundred pound pack, boot camp was easy - but then he was prepared physically and mentally before he joined.
Forward recognizance are the team that will walk the road in
the lead for one last look to spot roadside bombs and for snipers. He's at the
point of his team. They also are the teams most often assigned to clear out a
house highly suspected of having armed terrorists. He is constantly in our
prayers for his safety.
He told a delightful story while still in training specifically for the assignment. His team was given the role of playing the terrorists to train new recruits how to approach and defeat a building containing a group of snipers or insurgents - his crew to be the insurgents. In the first war game, his crew "killed" two Marines before escaping. Worse, in the second war game his crew of pretend-Al Quida fighters "killed" one Marine and even managed to capture another Marine, then successfully fleeing with their captive U.S. soldier. They were SO effective that the commander instructed them to "lighten up" and "let the new recruits win" to not become too discouraged. The Marines are suppose to win, of course. But if they as lightly armed as rag-tag insurgents could win mock battles against highly lead Marine teams, this also made it clear that he and his crew were fully ready for combat in the real theater of war. They not only knew how to fight as a Marine unit, but also to understand the enemies tactics too by perfecting those themselves.
No words can describe the pride and concerns we have for this son offering so much of himself for our country or our pride that he does so with such skill and focus.
Diversity defines the Ovard's children. "It's not our goal to make clones of ourselves," said Mark. "Each much find their own future, purpose and happiness," says Rene'.
Another of their children, one of their daughters, served in the U.S. Coast Guard and then obtained her marine biology degree while in the reserves, now onboard a private research ship measuring the Atlantic to determine if there truly is a climate change affect on ocean currents. This is not a minor question as the oxygen we breathe, a primary food source of the food change, and the patterns of weather all are extremely affected by the ocean currents.
Another of their children has started his own business in the installation and maintenance of fine wood floors in upper-income houses and business settings after apprenticing for many years. He now has his own employees and despite the economic downturn his business is steadily growing. According to him, there are "a thousand people just in this region desperate for work in this field. But they are mediocre in skill." In his view, it is precise and developed skill, not lowball bidding for shoddy work, that makes for long term business success. His calendar is well booked into the future despite no advertising and a severe otherwise downturn in construction and remodeling as a result of a mouth to mouth reputation of perfection.
Still another of the Ovard's adult children has pursued the entrepreneur route. A daughter has started an import-export business between the United States and the Caribbean. This, of course, has the added benefit of traveling to the Caribbean as part of her profession. She claims sometimes it's hard to figure out when she's working and when she's on vacation.
Another of the Ovard's adult children is well on his way to completely college and obtaining his electrician's license, currently working as a union electrician for large construction projects. He'll tell you the highpoint of his life is his marriage to a woman who is manager of a national drug store chain.
Of the two Ovard children still of school age, they are very different in extra-curricular activities, but both with the common ground of academic success. One is a straight-A student with interests in forensics, drama and art. The other just missed straight As by one B and is following an older brother's footsteps as a winning competitive wrestler.
One of the grandchildren now is of school age. He is an honors student in advanced studies for academically gifted children. A hobby of his is dancing and he's already won his dance competitions. The other two grandchildren are still in the infant stage. None are cuter and you can be certain that Grandpa and Grandma Ovard do all they can to spoil them rotten.
So there is much than can be in the news of particular interest to the Ovards. If you read about Mark and Rene', you'll understand that anytime elections and politics come up, they listen carefully. Again if any news of the War on Terror and of our troops, the Ovards listen carefully again having much as stake. And when they talk about taxes, small business and the economy, again they listen given so many Ovards are in "small business."
There many things a person can regret and many to be proud of. There is nothing the Ovard's are more proud of than their children and grandchildren. That is the best measure of personal success.
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