By: David J. Griffin
Phillip and Karen Shearer of Clay City are “bubbling over” with pride for their three children, who are serving their country in various branches of the Armed Services. “We are so proud of our children being in the military, and we wish for them to do their best in service of their country,” said Karen.
Each of the Shearer children is serving in a different branch of the United States military. The eldest son, SK2 Benjamin P. Shearer, II, is currently in the Navy stationed in Sicily – at the Sigonella Base. He has been there for the past 18 months. Before that, he served a tour of duty in the Persian Gulf on the US George Washington. He also spent one year of duty at Camp Bucca, Iraq. He volunteered for this assignment, which was part of a Detainee Battalion. He decided that he wanted to join the Navy upon graduation from Powell County High School in 2003, he was only 17.
Twenty-two-year-old SPC William T. Shearer is a member of the Army National Guard. He is presently serving a PSD Mission in Baghdad, Iraq. He is currently assigned to the 301st Chemical Company. William is a 2005 graduate of PCHS.
Airman Andrea K. Shearer is the youngest of the Shearer children; she is serving in the Air Force. At only 19 years of age, she enlisted one year out of high school. She completed her basic training at Lockland Air Force Base in Texas and is presently stationed at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Andrea is a 2008 graduate of PCHS. Her present assignment is Traffic Management, a position in which she assists Air Force personnel moving from base to base.
SSGT Benjamin P. Shearer is the proud father of his military children. He also served in the Air Force from 1972 until 1978 and was part of an Explosive Orinance Disposal unit stationed in Iceland, Italy, and the Marshall Islands. While in the Marshall Islands, he led a team assigned to clean up radioactive materials in the Enewatak Atoll.
Phillip Shearer explained how he feels about his children in the military. “I am very proud of my children, and I always encourage them to do their very best. Each of their jobs is very important in support of the US military.” To show his support, he flies a flag at his home for each branch of the service in which his children serve.
Karen Shearer has been a teacher at Powell County Middle School for the past 29 years. She also described her feelings about her children. “I am so proud of my children. I am humbly thankful to God for watching over my children and all the others in military service. Sometimes I weep while watching the evening news. I too feel pain for other military personnel when I hear of deaths and bombings. I have thought many times of all the families that have received that awful knock at the door. It is just too awful to think about.”
Karen also noted, “We have a nephew who is serving in the Marines. He is CPL Scott Napier stationed in Afghanistan. His mother often speaks of having a knot in her stomach each day he is away.”
She added, “I want to thank all veterans and any active duty personnel for their service and sacrifice. We need to teach the young about the US Flag and love of country. By the way, this is the first Christmas I will not have any of my children at home. I also want to thank the school staff, friends, and our church family at Clay City First Church of God, and especially Pastor Garland Lacy.”
The Shearer parents had one additional note of anticipation, “We look forward with joy for the time when we can see our three children at one time together!”