Marine Corps Master Sergeant gave his son an emotional first salute as a commissioned officer

There are moments as a parent that stand out, and there are moments as a human that stand out, and when those two realities converge, it makes for pure magic.

One such magical moment was captured and shared on TikTok and has been viewed by millions in just one day.

Master Sergeant Michael Fisher is an instructor with the Marine Corps Junior ROTC program. He has spent the past nine months sharing sweet videos on Tik Tok of himself and his adorable 1-year-old granddaughter, Abby, but yesterday he shared something completely different. In his official role as Master Sergeant, Fisher gave his son his first salute as a Second Lieutenant.

And as he explained the pride he felt, the emotion in his voice took us straight to his heart.


"I've watched you grow and mature and become the man that you are today," he said. "You have always been respectful, by saying 'Yes sir.' 'No sir.' 'Yes, ma'am.' And 'No, ma'am.' A salute is a sign of respect. It is a privilege to render you your first salute."

He raised his hand in salute, then added, his voice cracking, "But it is a greater honor to say 'Congratulations, sir, on your commissioning.'"

The moment was clearly significant for this father and son for personal reasons, but it was also significant that it took place between a Black officer and non-commissioned officer.

Though racial diversity is fairly representative of the general population in lower officer ranks of the military, the upper ranks are lacking in such diversity. In fact, the higher in pay grade you go, the more white the demographics become.

As this chart from the Defense Department shows, at the top of the pay grade for active enlistment officers, 92% are white and 5% are Black.

defense.gov


For the reserves, the trend is similar, with white officers making up a disproportionate percentage of the top pay grades.

defense.gov

As Master Sergeant, Michael Fisher is an upper-ranked non-commissioned officer. His son's rank of Second Lieutenant is the first commissioned officer ranking. (This site has a breakdown of how the rankings work, and what the letters below the bars on the chart mean.)

The Defense Department's own report acknowledges that racial minorities are underrepresented in both senior non-commissioned officer ranks and as well as higher commissioned officer ranks. The report also explains why that's a problem:

"Appropriate representation of minorities in military leadership positions is increasingly important in the context of the nation's demographic trends. The non-Hispanic White population is expected to decline from 199 million in 2020 to 179 million in 2060, while the rest of the U.S. population continues to grow. The population of people who are two or more races is projected to be the single fastest-growing racial or ethnic group, followed by Asian and Hispanic Americans. Thus, if military leaders are to mirror the racial and ethnic composition of the Service members they lead and the American public they serve, DoD must ensure that all Service members have access to opportunities to succeed and advance into leadership positions."

Here's hoping this new Second Lieutenant will have every opportunity to rise in the officer ranks, if he so chooses.

Meanwhile, we'll watch this video a few more times and just for the feels. There's something about someone in uniform in a formal situation trying to hold it together that just tugs at the heartstrings every time. And seeing this career military man honoring his son with his first salute as an officer—and hearing his voice break as he does so—it's just so touching.

Thank you, Master Sergeant Fisher and Second Lieutenant son, for your dutiful service.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.