The Redd sons have known since a young age what their parents expected of them.
“We tell our boys they were born Boy Scouts, which means they have to do their duty to God and to their country, and that required a mission and then military service, and every one of them have done that,” Don Redd said.
Don and Karen Redd have 15 children, 14 of which are living. Starting with their eldest son, Sperry Jr., their other six sons — Brigham, Ammon, Nephi, Moroni, Mormon and Alma — have all signed up for military service.
Alma, their youngest, is a graduate of the American Heritage School in American Fork and will attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point when he returns from New Zealand, where he is working for the summer. The Redds have a grandson who has also attended the academy, and Mormon graduated last year from the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Military service runs in the family’s blood.
Don Redd was on active duty for three years, during which two of their children were born. He spent 20 years in the Army Reserve.
In their home they have an American flag that flew over Baghdad, banners from the two military academies and a “don’t tread on me” flag. And while their daughters’ names don’t follow the same Book of Mormon theme, they do have one named Merica.
“We’re patriotic and we go to memorial services and parades, and we are proud when the flag passes and we salute and carry flags on all of those holidays,” Don Redd said.
Two of their sons have been Green Berets, and two have been doctors. Or — as the Redds put it — two break things, and two fix things.
“All the boys played soldiers when they grew up, that was their activity,” Karen Redd said.
But being the mother of several sons in the military hasn’t been easy. Karen Redd attributes prayer to helping her through harder times.
“When our first three sons were all serving in Iraq, that was a very trying-my-faith time,” Karen Redd said. “But I trusted the Lord and welcomed them home safely.”
They have two sons-in-law who have been in the military, and they hope that many of their grandchildren follow the family tradition, as well.
“It’s been an honor to have these noble sons who have done their duty to God and to their country, and we thank God for the preservation of those who have gone to war and for those who may yet go,” Don Redd said.