Michigan veteran couple finish academic degrees, plan bigger family
Holly veteran couple Tyler and Rosemarie Kenny have had a jam-packed year following the birth of their son Aedan Maddox — but they would not change anything for the world.The past year has a been an adjustment, to say the least, with Tyler still actively drilling in the National Guard, going to school, working as a Veterans’ Benefit Counselor and being a dad.With the start of a new semester, Tyler is catching a break since he’s only taking one class at Oakland University toward his master’s degree.“I’ve only got one class this semester, it’s not as busy as last semester,” Tyler said. “… It’s a government financial class … it’s kind of the sector I work in everyday — so it’s interesting to know a higher level of thinking and operating.”The couple left Iraq in 2010, and Rose left the National Guard in July 2012.
Tyler is still drilling for the National Guard one weekend a month and two weeks a year. Tyler’s drills are conveniently located in his hometown, and he brings Aedan along so that he can see his grandparents.
At work, Tyler is thriving, and staying busy.
“We stay pretty busy up here (at Oakland County Veterans’ Services) … but it’s not busy to where you’re overwhelmed,” Tyler said.
Meanwhile, Rose has been busy being a mom and maintaining her perfect grades, as she works toward her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Eastern Michigan University.
Things have also settled down for her, as she is going to school less and nearing completion of her degree.
“It’s going pretty good, I actually cut down on the classes. Last semester, it was twice a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., so now I’m just going to night classes,” Rose said.
“We’re living our family life and just trying to finish college,” Rose said. “I have two classes left, I’m hoping to get them done in the summer — if they aren’t offered, I may have to wait until fall.”
The next step will to start the job hunt, which Rose knows could be difficult.
“If I’m working, I probably won’t walk (at graduation), Tyler really wants me to walk … so that’s really up for negotiation,” Rose said.
The baby is now 10 months old and growing up quickly. He can now stand up and is quite vocal.
“He’s getting big,” Tyler said. “He got another tooth, so he’s got seven teeth total coming out. He’s starting to kind of walk a little bit, along kind of traveling along the couch (holding on) … If you put him down he takes off (crawling).”
Rose said Aedan’s new hobby is grabbing everything in sight.
“He’s fantastic, he’s into everything. He’s crawling and working on walking,” Rose said. “He pulls himself up on everything and grabs everything.”
Aedan has decided he does not particularly enjoy the word “no.”
“He knows the word ‘no’ and he knows what it means, but he has his daddy’s stubbornness,” Rose said. “ … We had to go around the house and baby-proof everything.”
A major highlight of the past year was the Christmas celebrations with their new addition.
“(Aedan) is a pro at ripping open the gifts, he had a really good time,” Rose said. “The whole family came over my parents and (Tyler’s) parents … Aedan loved the tree and the lights … It’s really exciting to see how exciting everything is in his eyes.”
Tyler agreed watching Aedan was the highlight of their Christmas.
“It was pretty cool to watch him open presents,” Tyler said. “The first couple you have to kind of show him how to rip the paper, but he eventually got it. But like any baby, he was more interested in the wrapping than the actual presents.”
Reflecting on the past year, there’s one moment BOTH Kenny’s agreed was the highlight.
“The first highlight is the birth of our son and over the past year it has really just revolved around him and trying to get this thing down pat, which we don’t have it,” Rose said. “Life is so much better now that we have him, but it’s a lot more work — but it’s been worth it. We’ve gotten used to the lack of sleep.”
The Kenny’s believe they are heading into the next chapter of their life.
“The biggest thing right now is Rose is finishing up school, so hopefully she’ll find a job she loves,” Tyler said.
“We’re on the brink of the next changes in our life,” Rose said. “We plan on me getting a job and probably purchasing a bigger house and having our next child — we’re right on the edge.”