Army Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class Tony Ramos and his wife, Shannon, had their second boy, Cameron, this year on Valentine's Day. For a Green Beret, being home for the birth of one son is a big deal, but to be home for both over the past two years gives Tony Ramos plenty to be thankful for this year.
Ramos is a Army Special Forces Underwater Operations School instructor at the base on the tip of Fleming Key where he and a slew of other scuba experts teach stealthy dive techniques to myriad Special Operations Forces -- not just from the United States, but also from many allied nations.
His first son, 2-year-old Benjamin, was born while he was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., home of the Army Special Forces. In 2009, the medic was stationed in Iraq, where he and other Green Berets trained Iraqi police how to use explosives and fight in close quarters.
"I'm very fortunate to have been with Shannon when she gave birth to both my boys," Ramos said. "I'm very lucky. A lot of guys (in Special Forces) who have kids can't say the same."
The elite commando has survived and endured some of the harshest training in the military, but those achievements weren't on Ramos' list when asked what he considered his greatest milestones.
"I feel like the last couple of years my life has really begun," he said. "Before that, my wife and I were in a long distance relationship, and now it's totally different. I'm married and a father of two. It's been a drastic change, but a good one. I'm thankful that I can go home and see my family every night, because I know it won't always be that way."