Jasmine Warren is smart, determined, resilient and beautiful. She graduated from high school with honors this May, but with only her mother in attendance. Her father was deployed – again. This isn’t the first graduation he has missed. Four years ago, Jasmine’s father missed her older brother’s graduation from high school due to a deployment.
Jasmine’s father has been in the military for nearly twenty years, most of that serving in the National Guard. Nicole Warren, Jasmine’s mother, thought switching from active duty to Guard meant stability for her family. However, she may now suggest that for most Guard and Reserve families, stability is an elusive feeling.
“I’m over it,” Nicole announces over the phone to me. “Our baby is graduating. I didn’t even try recording the ceremony. I was too busy crying tears of joy and filled emotion. Our baby has persevered through so much; it’s heart breaking to know my husband wasn’t here to watch that moment. He is so proud of her. ”
Jasmine is a military child who thrives through adversity. She was born withBrachial Palsy, a condition that has restricted mobility and decreased muscle strength of the left upper extremity. However, her condition hasn’t slowed her down, she hasn’t skipped a beat. She graduated high school with International Baccalaureate Program with honors, accepted in top colleges. She is also an accomplished gymnast and excels in ballet and dance.
She has dedicated her life to schoolwork and extra circular passions – the later what makes her child well rounded and happy. Although, the pride from her mother is obvious when you speak to Nicole about her daughter, she said finding the money and time for all the “extras” while single parenting through deployments has always been difficult.