Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Childress' thoughts often focus on son

Posted by: under Vikings, Brad Childress, Vikings off the field, Brad Childress Updated: May 31, 2010 - 5:31 PM

Happy Memorial Day to everyone out there. This seems like a fitting story for today.

The Vikings had just completed their Organized Team Activities on Thursday when coach Brad Childress was informed he had an urgent call and one that was far more important than football. Childress' son, Andrew, was on the line.

Andrew, who joined the Marines in late 2008, was deployed to the Middle East a couple of weeks ago and while Childress knows his son is in Afghanistan he does not know Andrew's exact whereabouts.

"I just know how he got there and that he's there in one piece," Childress said Thursday while talking with a few media members at Rush Creek Golf Club during the annual event that raises money for the Vikings Children's Fund. “ ... I asked him how his body clock was. He said, ‘Not bad. We got more sleep going over there than we ever get [normally].’ He said it’s hotter than you can believe, staying in mud huts. I’m always fascinated just to hear whatever he’ll say. I can’t drill down very far but just some of the banter [was nice].”

It's at moments like this that Childress is willing to let you see a different side of himself. The fact that he's very much a concerned parent, who clearly admires what his son is doing but also is concerned about his safety.

Childress had watched as Andrew was sworn in back in December 2008 and became emotional at the time when talking about the subject. "It's heart-wrenching because it's against every instinct that you have as a parent to allow your child to be put in harm's way," Childress said. "But it was a decision he wanted, and he's wanted to do it for a very long time. I have no doubt that he'll be good at it and he'll serve our country very well."

Asked how he and his wife, Dru-Ann, were handling actually having their son in the Middle East, Childress said: "We have our moments. We’re doing pretty good right now but the middle of December is pretty long pull.”

So that's when Andrew will return? “God willing, yes," Andrew's father said. "Seven months.”

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