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About eight years ago, Dallas English was rummaging through some old family albums for pictures to scan into his computer when he came across a touching photo of his military father holding him as an infant.
"I liked it a lot and I was in the military at the time, so I decided then and there that if I were to have a child, I would re-create that photo and have them side by side,'' English told TODAY.com.
The picture stuck with English all these years later, and now he has done an updated version featuring him wearing his uniform and holding his 10-month-old son, Ace. The photo is a near match almost 30 years after the original was taken, as English will turn 30 next month.
"I just thought it was really cool,'' English said. "You're able to see the beginnings of a tradition."
English, a deployment manager for the U.S. Air Force in Rapid City, South Dakota, then posted the split of the two photos on Reddit, where it was viewed more than two million times. He also texted the picture to his father, Mike, a retired U.S. Army veteran who lives in Illinois.
"I haven't really talked to him on the phone about it yet, plus he's not too big into texting, but he did like it a lot,'' English said.
English was inspired to join the Air Force by his brother, continuing the family's military tradition. English's wife joined the Air Force with him at the same time in 2005, and they were married shortly afterward. Whatever Ace's future holds, English is hoping a tradition has been born.
"Hopefully when Ace grows up and has kids, he'll want to do the same whether he's in the military or not,'' English said. "I think it would be really neat if he kept it going."