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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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8/11/2013 6:00:00 AM
Three soldiers, one family: Military pride runs deep for Prescott Valley parents
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Glenn and Darcy Grovenstein pose in the “military shrine” room in their Prescott Valley home. Three of their four children have served or are currently serving in the military, with a total of four 15-month tours in Afghanistan between them.
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Glenn and Darcy Grovenstein pose in the “military shrine” room in their Prescott Valley home. Three of their four children have served or are currently serving in the military, with a total of four 15-month tours in Afghanistan between them.
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Darcy Grovenstein holds her favorite photo of her four children, three of whom have served tours of duty in Afghanistan.
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Darcy Grovenstein holds her favorite photo of her four children, three of whom have served tours of duty in Afghanistan.
Tamara Sone
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT VALLEY - There's no doubt that Glenn and Darcy Grovenstein are proud parents.

Dozens of photos of the Grovenstein children - Whitney, 29, Emory, 24, Ezekiel (Zeke), 22, and Lacy, 21 - line the walls of their living room, hallway and family room.

But it's one photo in particular that draws Darcy's attention.

"This is my favorite photo of all the kids," Darcy said holding up the frame to show the three boys decked out in their military best standing alongside their sister. "They all just look so good in their uniforms and Lacy in her dress. They look so grown-up."

"We really honestly had no idea that our kids would be in the military," she added.

The Grovensteins' introduction into military life began when Whitney received a scholarship to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He later left the university to pursue a degree in history education at Northern Arizona University. Whitney joined the Army after graduating from NAU.

Emory soon followed in his older brother's footsteps, also attending the aeronautical university on a scholarship. He also enlisted in the Army.

The youngest of the three boys, Zeke, decided to enlist in the Marines right out of high school.

Lacy thought about going into the military, but she decided to take a different route, Darcy said.

One of the toughest parts of being a parent of a soldier or Marine is watching your child ship out overseas.

All three Grovenstein boys served in Afghanistan and, at one point, all at the same time.

"I've gone completely gray thinking about the boys leaving," Darcy said with tears welling up in her eyes. "But we have faith and that's sustained us. But at the same time, they were gone for so long."

The Grovensteins were able to stay connected to the boys and track their whereabouts through email and Skype.

"It was interesting because each of the boys experienced Afghanistan in a different way," Darcy said. "Whitney saw it from the air, Zeke saw it from crisscrossing in a wrecker, and Emory saw it working in a village with Afghan National Security Forces."

But it was one early-morning phone call from Zeke that would test Glenn and Darcy's strength as parents.

"I thought it was kind of weird that he was calling, especially since we just talked a couple of days ago and it was so early here," Glenn said. "And he says to me, 'Dad, I got blown up.'"

The explosion caused Zeke and the other Marines in the vehicle to immediately bleed out of their noses and ears, Glenn said. Zeke was in and out of consciousness for three days from the force of the blast.

This past May, Zeke received the Purple Heart medal for his service. Two more Purple Heart medals are pending.

While the war still continues in the Middle East, all three boys are back home safe.

After serving his four years in the Marines, Zeke was honorably discharged in August 2012. He is currently working in construction in Alaska.

Emory returned to the states in June. He and his wife, Ashley, are stationed in Ft. Lewis, Wash.

Whitney returned home in June 2012 and is stationed in Ft. Hood, Texas.




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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Article comment by: James Davenport

Whenever you hear one of those uber patriots talking about freedom and how free you are thanks to mercenaries, watch out. In a truly free country no one goes around talking about how free they are.

Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Article comment by: J S

How does fighting Unconstitutional and Undeclared wars of choice increase our freedom?
Freedoms are fewer since Amerika started invading, occupying and losing wars.
Look at the military record. US forces worldwide are not wanted by host countries. You pro military types are dragging the majority of us on your little adventure and expecting us to pay for it while you try to destroy our Constitution. Then you want us to thank you for this "service"? Ain't gonna happen.


Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Article comment by: Just Saying

I left most of my left thumb in Vietnam. The skin on my left arm at the elbow is "fused" together so I can't fully extend my arm. I've had three surgeries but still have shrapnel in my back.

Please don't lecture me when you haven't a clue as to who I am or what I've done in my life. I bled and almost died in the service of my country. So what?

By the by - my original comment/question is still valid. You can attack me all you want but I don't really care.


Posted: Monday, August 12, 2013
Article comment by: @Just Saying

What have you done to add to your life's accomplishments besides criticizing our military. Freedom is NOT free and you wouldn't be posting today if our heroes didn't go to war many times over. Don't be so arrogant.

Posted: Monday, August 12, 2013
Article comment by: Joanne Emery

My grandmother sent 8 sons to war in the 1940's and all came back alive and well. My 3 brothers served in Vietnam and all came back alive and well also. I have 3 generations of firemen, 2 generations of police, all survived and some are still alive today. I'm proud of my family!

Posted: Monday, August 12, 2013
Article comment by: Just Saying

A neat little profile, but front page news? Nope.

And why all the military hero worship?

Next - let's highlight a family with 3 sons who became doctors or teachers or even plumbers or fast food restaurant managers.

Just about as interesting and/or newsworthy - don't you think?


Posted: Monday, August 12, 2013
Article comment by: Who knew .......

That's such a precious article. The Grovenstien children are so lucky to have parents like Darcy and Glenn. Give yourselves a real pat on the back.

Posted: Monday, August 12, 2013
Article comment by: Aaron Stoneburner

You guys must be so proud, and rightfully so! God bless you two for raising awesome children. And God bless them for serving our awesome country! Quick side note, you two were great educators when I was in school. It makes me happy to hear that your doing well. I have fond memories of being in either of your classes!

Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2013
Article comment by: Jackie Israel

This does not surprise me as The Grovenstiens have always been remarkable Parents as well a genuinely wonderful people. Glad to see all is well with them!

Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2013
Article comment by: L T

God bless these young men and their family.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
THANK YOU FOR MY FREEDOM!!
GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2013
Article comment by: Carolyn Bradshaw

This is truly remarkable. I don't know how to express how I feel about this beautiful story. It's deserving of praise but also deep reflection on how grateful I am to this family. There are countless numbers of folks who upon knowing this story will feel the same. Thank you.

Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2013
Article comment by: Thank You

Thank you, Daily Courier for running this article about this beautiful family.

And thank you to all of the Grovenstein family. I am grateful to the parents for supporting their sons, and to these three fine young men for their years of service to our county. God bless you all!


Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2013
Article comment by: Tim Roeder

Just a nit-pick:

It's two Soldiers and one Marine. Otherwise, nice article.




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