A reaffirming legacy

Joy Young and grandson, Tech. Sgt. William Young share a special moment after taking his oath of enlistment Feb. 9 at The Glen.

Enlistment oath unites grandfather in retirement community with grandson

Tech. Sgt. William Young reenlisting in the United States Air Force received his oath of enlistment from a very special person last week – his grandfather.

Retired Col. Ashe Young, who served in the U.S. Army for 30 years, read the oath of enlistment to his grandson, William Young, on Tuesday, Feb. 9 outside of The Glen with his grandmother, Joy Young standing by.

Ashe Young is a resident at Village Health Care at The Glen. Due to the COVID-19 guidelines set by the Louisiana Department of Health, the retirement community has been restricting visitors for the health and safety of the residents at The Glen. However, that did not stop staff from supporting the family to make this special event happen. William Young was administered his oath while standing outside his grandfather’s window at The Glen in a special ceremony.

“I put on my dress uniform and stood out the window; he was on speaker phone and I was on speaker phone,” said William Young, who has served in the U.S. Air Force for 17 years. “He would read the enlistment oath and then I would repeat it back to him while holding up my right hand. At the end, I gave him a salute.”

Also present was Ashe’s wife and William’s grandmother, Joy Young, who is a resident at The Glen Stiles Apartments.

“It’s really a thrill for [William] and for my husband,” she said. “It’s an opportunity we’ll probably never have again.”

William Young said the privilege of having his grandfather administer the oath was actually a second chance after a missed opportunity years ago.

“About 10 years ago he was supposed to reenlist me, but some things changed” and it didn’t end up happening that way, William Young said. “It weighed heavy on me that he wasn’t able to do it 10 years ago, and now the opportunity came about again. It was just kind of one of those regrets that I wish I would have done it differently, and I had a second chance, and I wasn’t going to miss it.”

Debra Williams, CEO and president of The Glen, said The Glen community was honored to have such a memorable event occur on campus.

“As an organization, we are humbled to support this young man in his duty to serve our country,” Williams said. “It was a cherished moment for many to witness one man pass down his passion and legacy to his grandson. Though these times have been some of the hardest, it was a bright light and a true honor for The Glen to be the place to share this special moment for this family’s continued act of service.”

William Young said he had been planning to make sure the event could happen for the last few weeks, and everything worked out perfectly.

“(My grandfather) was thrilled – he was very excited and he was very willing,” William Young said. “It was really special for me.”