Her heart might have been breaking into a thousand pieces, but retired Army Capt. Zaira Yhap-Serrano enlisted her son, Andrew Yhap-Serrano, into the Army Aug. 12 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Initially Yhap-Serrano said she tried to talk her son out of enlisting, but came to the decision that she had to respect his choice.
“As an Army officer, it is the highest privilege and honor to recite the Oath of Enlistment to a recruit, but as a mother… I don’t know how I did it,” she said. Nonetheless she said enlisting her son was one of her proudest moments wearing the uniform.
In attendance at the enlistment were family and friends, all with a record of military service. Her husband is a retired First Sergeant who served 22 years active duty, and her sister is a former First Lieutenant. Also at the ceremony was her son’s godfather, retired Command Sgt. Maj. Victor Garcia. Garcia’s son, Yorgie Garcia, also enlisted in the Army along side the younger Yhap-Serrano.
“It was an outstanding day bringing each of our families even closer with this common bond of service to the Army and this country,” she said.
Yhap-Serrano and her husband work a the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, Fla. She enlisted in the Army Reserve at the age of 17. She served 11 years as an enlisted soldier and 10 as an officer.
“I can see our son following the same military path as we did,” she said, and her 14-year old daughter has already expressed interest in joining, too.