New York Army National Guard Specialist shares joyous return home with family
The winning photograph in the Livingston County News’ “Like Father, Like Son (or Daughter) Look Alike Contest” shared an exceptional memory and garnered more than 600 votes.
The picture shows Joshua Ver Hague, 38, of Geneseo, with his children Adelyn Ver Hague, 9, Wiley Ver Hague, 7, and Callen Ver Hague, upon Joshua’s return from training with the New York Army National Guard.
The photo, which received 616 votes, is extra special to the family as just a few hours before the picture was taken, Joshua, a specialist in the New York Army National Guard, and his family were told he wouldn’t be able to return home to see his wife Dawn Ver Hague, and their three children. He was told he would have to stay an additional 10 weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Because of the COVID-19 madness, I was told I was not coming home for 10 more weeks,” said Joshua, who had just completed 10 weeks of basic training in the National Guard. “Then, 20 minutes later, I was in a van on my way to the airport.”
The photo, taken at the Greater Rochester International Airport, is the first time Joshua had seen his family since he left for training.
Joshua considers himself the goofball in his family. While he believes parenting is extremely important, he also believes in having fun.
“We work hard. We do chores together around the yard. We stack firewood, we do honeybees, we garden, and we swim together,” said Joshua. “There is so much in life to teach and so many lessons to give, it’s good to have fun, too.”
Adelyn likes to read while Wiley is quite the jokester, their father said.
“He is witty,” joked Joshua as he spoke about Wiley.
Callen is most like Joshua in the sense he is always “on-the-go,” like his dad.
Joshua recalled a quote he fondly refers to, “A parent’s success is measured by the success of their children.”
In August, Joshua will head to Alabama for training during eight weeks of Officer Candidate School to further his career with the New York Army National Guard.