(04/18/13) - The American Red Cross Great Lakes Bay Region held their Everyday Hero awards ceremony Wednesday night at the Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw Township.
Among the honorees - a father and her daughter honored for their military service.
"Only 1 percent of the population is in the military. I'm 20 years old, doing something that most people don't do. It's really a thrill," said SPC Katelyn Larrison, U.S Army Reservist.
"Very surprised. She was the cheerleader. I didn't see that one coming," said MSG Tim Larrison, U.S. Army Reservist.
Two very different perspectives from Katelyn and Tim Larrison, a father and daughter from Frankenmuth. Both are in the same unit of the army reserves and headed, together, for a deployment to Afghanistan.
"Everybody saying how special it is, how crazy it is that a father and daughter deployed. Seems normal to me," Katelyn said.
Katelyn was a junior in high school when she decided to enlist in the army reserves. Could it have anything to do with the fact she was born into the military during her dad's 10 year stint as active duty Army, and the fact her dad also enlisted right out of high school?
"I've been around the military my whole life, it seemed just natural," she said.
Tim and his wife Shannon supported Katelyn's decision to enlist, but not without some concerns.
"I didn't know if she's gonna make basic training," Tim said.
It wouldn't take long for an answer.
"I was getting ready to deploy when she was in basic training, and I actually got to go to Fort Sill for her basic training graduation, and she was born at Ft. Sill. I was gonna call her 'Drill Sgt.' to make sure he knew, but they found out, just so she'd get that extra attention, which I think she did," Tim said.
That was in 2011. Tim shipped out shortly after Katelyn's graduation. It was during that deployment he found out his unit would be deployed again and that Katelyn would be going with him, Tim as Military Police and Kate as a communications specialist.
"My wife initially said, 'No, you're not going, I can't do this.' When I got home, we talked about it, and after some mediation we decided it would be better if I went. She cut my orders and said, 'You can go,'" Tim said.
They ended up in Kandahar to train Afghan police, working out of the same tent. But don't think for a minute a private, working in the opposite corner of the tent for her Master Sergeant dad, would be cut any slack.
"He didn't take it easy on me, that's for sure. There was no special treatment for Katelyn," Katelyn said.
"I want to make sure that there was no room for people thinking that I was taking it easy on her, and I didn't," Tim said.
"Sometimes irritating, you know, take out the trash, oh gosh," Katelyn said.
"If I said, 'Do this, she did it.' She'd grumble about it, but most privates do," Tim said.
But there was also the serious side.
"At certain times when there was elevated danger, I was worried about her, if something would happen, what would Katelyn do, should I go to Katelyn or go to where I'm supposed to be," Tim said. "Katelyn's a soldier. She knows what to do and that's pretty much where I left it."
Now that they're back home, they share a bond few fathers and daughters have.
"Very proud of her, who wouldn't be. She's 20 years old she's been deployed, she's in the Army , she's got her own home, and she's in college," Tim said.
But what about the next time - would they deploy together again?
"It's his time to not go, he's getting old," Katelyn said.
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