As a father, Dr. Dan Locker of Brownwood, retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general, expressed pride that his son, 35th District Court prosecutor Ryan Locker, has decided to become an attorney for the U.S. Army.

And as a father, his emotions couldn’t help but bubble to the surface.

“As a dad, I’m proud that Ryan has decided to join the U.S. Army Reserves as a JAG officer,” Dan Locker said during a brief ceremony Friday afternoon in 35th District Court, where Ryan Locker serves as an assistant district attorney. “When he was at Texas A&M, Ryan didn’t see this in his future, so he wasn’t involved in Reserve Officer Training Corps. But he’s seen the needs that our country has, in its defense, and has elected to volunteer.”

Ryan Locker was commissioned as a first lieutenant by his father, who is eligible to preside over the ceremony because he has been a military officer.

“I might be happier if he had chosen the blue uniform (of the Air Force), but the green is fine, too,” the senior Locker said with a smile.

The ceremony was attended by almost two dozen county employees, including District Attorney Micheal Murray, County Judge Ray West and County Attorney Shane Britton, and Cynthia Locker, Ryan’s mother; Mandy Locker, Ryan’s wife; and Jack Locker, their young son; and state Rep. Jim Keffer of Eastland.

“I hope you will extend a helping had to my wife and Jack,” Ryan Locker said in response. He also expressed appreciation to Murray and prosecutor Sam Moss who will carry an additional burden of taking local cases to district court while he is in JAG training, initially in Virginia. He said he expects to be away for training for much of three months.

“I remind you that every member wearing the uniform today is a volunteer,” Dan Locker said. “They are men and women who love this nation with a level of gratitude that they sacrifice so much, in order that there will be no more tyranny and no more oppression.”

Locker said officers can be commissioned several ways, including directly as his son has been, as the result of specific professional training in civilian life in fields such as medicine or law. Officers can also qualify by graduating from a military academy, or through ROTC at a university.