The chronicles of the General Sarge site have been growing since the day Private Benjamin shipped out from his home, taking a new direction in his life. What started out as a means of adjusting to having a son leave the family home has turned into something that promises to help more than this family, but also many other families whose children are in the military. DrRus, as he is known on Twitter, needed a way to stay connected in the first months of separation, each day he would photograph PVT. Ben's childhood bear doing PVT. Ben's favorite things. As he wrote then tweeted these posts people started to take notice and offer support and encouragement to DrRus and also to General Sarge while learning the story behind the bear.
When PVT. Ben was a young boy he knew would some day be a solder, he chose to make his childhood bear a military bear, he grew up with this bear, who, as you can see, has the wear that only a much-loved bear can have. A new uniform, which was a holiday 2010 gift, transformed Sarge into a General. As the days passed General Sarge traced the footsteps that his boy would take growing up: activities and chores PVT. Ben did around the house, working at the radio station with his father, visits to the recruiting center and a visit to his place of birth which was the local Build-A-Bear store.
I have been following the antics of General Sarge since the beginning and have watched as more people have taken notice. I have had many conversations with DrRus regarding this project and how it has grown from helping a father adjust to having a son fledge the nest to setting up a means to assist families that are struggling to attend a very important honor, graduation from basic training.
Soon enough General Sarge will be attending the graduation ceremony for his boy, PVT Benjamin, then a few short weeks later he will travel again when PVT. Ryan, PVT. Ben's brother, graduates his basic training. Yes, you read that correctly, DrRus has two sons that joined the Army who are going through basic training in two separate camps, two separate graduation ceremonies to attend in two separate locations.
This is how the mission started, when making plans to attend both ceremonies DrRus and his wife realized that the cost to travel to each graduation, only 4 weeks apart, would exhaust their travel budget. DrRus brought up the idea of raising funds to assist, not only his family, but also to assist other families, who were in need, a much-needed cause. So this goes out to my readers, please take a minute or two to read the blog of General Sarge and get to know him and Master Sarge, who is a new arrival to the bear brigade. Master Sarge is a gift to PVT. Ryan from Build-A-Bear, now PVT Ryan has his own bear and General Sarge has a platoon that is growing.