Home News Local News FAMILY TRADITION
By Diane Alpeter
Fort Leavenworth Lamp
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. Sgt. Robbi Routt and Pfc. Dan Routt of La Grande never suspected playing Army while growing up would result in real-life careers in the same field as their father.
The two brothers are stationed at Fort Leavenworth,working in the police field, following in their father Bob Routts footsteps. Robbi is a corrections noncommissioned officer at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks. Dan is a military police patrolman.
Their father served as an Army MP patrolman from 1969 to 1971, spending most of his time with the 300th MP Detachment at the Oakland Army Depot in California. Bob Routt retired last summer from the Oregon State Police in La Grande.
They say it runs in our blood or it must be genetic, 22-year-old Robbi said of his and his brothers interest in police work.
The coolest thing in the world used to be when our dad came home at lunch. We would run to his (police) car and so would all of the kids in the neighborhood, and my dad would turn the lights on, said Dan, 19.
All of the kids in the neighborhood thought we were the coolest. I think my dads retirement has been harder on me than on him. His job was a big part of our life.
While the brothers echo sentiments of admiration for their dads career, they also had the same sentiments about joining the Army neither of them were planning to do so.
When I told my dad I joined the Army, he said, Sure you did, Robbi said.
Although his father talked to him about joining, Robbi felt that Army life wasnt for him. However, a desire for a law enforcement career and educational opportunities influenced his decision, as did three generations of Army soldiers before him.
I just decided to go join one day, Robbi said.
While in basic training, Dan had to answer to Robbis friends on how his brother was doing.
I told them I would never join the Army, Dan said. The summer before my senior year I just decided to join. I left two months after graduation and got (to Fort Leavenworth) last summer.
Ever since Dans arrival, the brothers have come to appreciate each other as best friends. They talk now of sibling rivalry with laughter.
We were worse to our little sister (Heidi, age 17) than we were to each other, Robbi said.
But we were never mean, said Dan. She just always wanted to play with dolls and we didnt.
Robbi and Dan liked to play Army. However, when one pretend mission went a bit too far, they both suffered greatly at the hands of their parents.
One of our missions was to destroy the old pickup truck behind the house, Dan said. And we did too. We hit it with baseball bats and threw rocks. We really got it. But when our parents found out, boy did we get in a heap of trouble.
Now, the brothers present day missions focus on making the world a safer place. While each does his part to create a secure environment, both agree on how people should be treated regardless of what they have or have not done in life. Both said their father taught them to treat everyone with respect and decency.
Sometimes the treatment is returned.
Where else can you pull someone over and give them a ticket and have them say, Thank you, Dan said. That is the military courtesy instilled in most people on post.
While there are all kinds of people in the world, the brothers agree family is most important. Both said their family bond is strong, and credited their parents, Bob and Phyllis Routt, for raising them right.
If you dont have a good relationship with your family, you should get one, Dan said. It is the only thing that has gotten me through the military this far. Blood really is thicker than water.
We sent home a picture to my dad and mom in our BDUs (basic duty uniforms), and we could tell that made them proud, to see us both together accomplishing something, Robbi said.
Diane Alpeter is a reporter for the Fort Leavenworth Lamp. The Lamp gave The Observer permission to reprint this article.