FAIRFIELD — All branches of the military were represented Saturday at Doug Daut’s Cordelia Villages home where family gathered to send off the their youngest recruit.
Reid Daut, 19, is set to continue a family tradition of military service after joining the U.S. Army.
Facing basic training, the Rodriguez High graduate joins a lineage of service members that have collectively served in the Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
Reid Daut said watching his older brother Ryan, 24, excel in the U.S. Army motivated him to join.
“I’ve always looked up to what he did,” Reid Daut said.
After signing up in 2009, Ryan Daut worked as an intelligence analyst before changing to civil affairs. He said he is grateful that his younger brother is following in his footsteps.
“I think he’s made a good choice,” said Ryan Daut, who’s in the Reserves and works at Genentech. “It’s going to make a man out of him.”
Another inspiration of Reid Daut was his grandfather, Elmer McDade, 89, who served in the Army during the Korean War.
“Papa Mac has all his stories,” Reid Daut said. “. . . No matter what he went through, he enjoyed what he did and he would relive it every time he could.”
Reid Daut will undergo military police training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. He said the military will help him with college, where he plans to study criminal justice before joining the police academy.
“It was just a good opportunity . . . ,” he said. “(It) opens a lot of doors, things I want to get into in the future.”
The brothers’ father Doug Daut, who served in the Marines during the Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations, said he was happy with his son’s decision to join.
“I thought it was a great idea,” Doug Daut said. “(It’s a) little bit different than when I went in.”
After growing up in the small town of Ukiah, Doug Daut said military service seemed like a “good way to get going.”
“(But you) signed up (and) next thing you know, you’re walking around with an M-16 – thinking what did I get into,” Doug Daut said.
His wife Marty Daut, with a brother and sister-in-law in the Coast Guard, said patriotism simply runs in the family.
“Just the love of our country and to be a part of our country,” she said of the family’s collective military service.
Other family members who served include Reid and Ryan Daut’s grandfather Roland Daut, who served in the Army in late 1950s in Germany, and two of their uncles, Rick Thornton, of Lake Port, who served in the Navy from 1983 to 1986, and Rick Gabehart, of Lake Port, who joined the Air Force in 1979 and worked as a security police officer on Travis Air Force Base.
“It was a peaceful time,” Gabehart said.
Cousin John Sparks was in the Air Force for 10 years from 1986 to 1996 during Desert Storm and Shield, the U.S. invasion of Panama, the Rwanda genocide, the Colombian drug war and the Bosnian War.
“(I) even got to watch the Berlin Wall come down,” Sparks said.
A coffin flag on display at the Daut home memorialized Doug Daut’s grandfather, Phillip Simmons, who rarely spoke of his service in Japan during World War II.
“My own grandfather is here in spirit,” Doug Daut said. “He wouldn’t talk about it much, but he was the first boots on the ground in Hiroshima.”
Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.