A bond forged in service and sacrifice: The unbreakable father-son connection

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Lauren Cobin
The bond between a father and son is a unique and profound relationship that evolves and strengthens over time - it becomes even more exceptional when intertwined with a shared commitment to serve one's country.

Kory Capps, a chaplain assigned to the 6th Air Refueling Wing at MacDill Air Force Base, and his son, Karter Capps, a defender assigned to the 66th Security Forces Squadron at Hanscom Air Force Base, are a father and son duo whose unwavering bond and dedication to the military exemplify the essence of service, sacrifice, and love.

From an early age, Karter looked up to his father, Kory, as a role model. Kory's dedication to his work as a chaplain and his continuous efforts to provide for his family left a lasting impression on each of his four children.

“When I was 12, I remember my dad being promoted at the Chapel,” said the oldest child, Karter. “I remember it felt like such a big deal. I was so proud of him.”

Despite the demands of his career, Kory always made time to be present for his children, instilling in them the values of hard work and integrity.

“I didn’t always know what he was doing but I always respected him,” Karter emphasized. “Even though he was so busy, he always made time to take care of his family.”

Karter's decision to join the military, following in his father's footsteps, deepened the bond between the two.

“For him to be a military kid, and to have gone through what he did all throughout his childhood, and still step in and say ‘yeah I want to serve’… I just really respect him for that,” Kory said.

As Karter embarked on his journey as an Airman, he continued to find new respect and understanding of his father's work and the sacrifices he has made.

“I now understand just how hard he works and what it means to be in the United States military,” said Karter. “Ever since joining, I’ve noticed that I can relate to my dad more and more.”

Karter's own experiences in the military have enhanced his admiration for his father's teachings and the values he instilled.

“Parenting is the most rewarding and the most challenging thing I’ve done in life for sure,” said Kory. “The whole world changed when we had kids. It’s a bit of a mirror in your own life.”

Kory taught his children the importance of humility, treating others with kindness and compassion, and always striving to be a person with whom others feel comfortable with.

“My dad taught me to always stay humble, no matter what you’re doing in life,” said Karter. “No matter what job you work – just work hard and do not be boastful or too prideful.”

Being in the same branch of the military as his father holds a deep sense of pride for Karter. The connection they share through service creates a unique bond that is rarely seen. It is a testament to the enduring legacy of their family's dedication to the United States military.

“I feel like heritage is a big part of why I joined,” said Karter. “I wouldn’t have joined the Air Force, or even the military in general, if it wasn’t for my dad.”

For Kory, his experiences as a father have shaped his leadership style, emphasizing the importance of treating those under his command with the same care, compassion and respect he would want for his own children.

“We are handing the Nation’s most precious assets - people’s sons and daughters,” said Kory. “We can never lose that perspective because that is as sacred of trust as it ever gets.”

“A simple question I ask when mentoring leaders is, ‘would I trust you with my son, would I trust you to lead him, take care of him, and give him what he needs? Would I sleep well at night knowing that he is under your charge?’” said Kory. “To me, that’s the trust that every parent in America is giving us as military leaders.”

As Karter progresses in his own military career, the bond between father and son continues to grow. Karter's unwavering commitment, discipline, and drive fill Kory with pride and admiration.

Their relationship has evolved to a deep friendship built on mutual respect and shared experiences.

“He’s super driven, disciplined and motivated - he blows me away,” said Kory. “He has this fierce ability to protect and care deeply about those he loves. It’s so cool seeing what he’s doing now because it fits so well, it really fits. He’s going to do great.”

The father-son bond between Kory and Karter Capps stands as a testament to the unbreakable connection forged through service, sacrifice, and love.

“I am just so thankful all that he has done, and continues to do for us as his family,” said Karter.

Their shared military journey has brought them closer together, allowing them to understand and appreciate each other on a profound level. As they continue to navigate their paths within the military, their bond serves as a reminder of the enduring power of family, heritage, and the pursuit of a greater purpose.