On America’s Birthday, or labor day or Veteran’s Day (a day late at this point), I always think of my dad.
Growing up there were times it was just mom, my brother, and me at home in the evening, for a road trip to see family, or on weekends because dad was somewhere, doing something…what I thought at the time was “at work.”
You see in my younger years, his career was serving the United States Army, reaching the rank of LTC (Lieutenant Colonel). Yet as a child, this rank meant a hill of beans to me, as I would wonder why he was sleeping during the day after having to pull an all-nighter or even a week-long shift, or why he missed things because of “work.”
In my teenage years, he retired from the U.S. Army and worked at our local high school, where he started and built up the (highly esteemed…my words, ha!) JROTC program. However, even then he would spend an infinite level of hours at school or competitions or after-school practices, etc…for “work.” SIDE NOTE: Now I wonder how my mom was able to manage two kids daily or while traveling (by car or sometimes in an airport), because truth be known I can barely keep me and my three alive on the weekends if my husband has to go out of town (Thank the Lord for iPads).
The question that I kept coming back to over the years was…“Why was work so important to him?”
Now I’m in my… Oh come on, you didn’t really think I was going to tell you my age did you? Anyway, now I’m an adult, married, with a career and 3 kids of my own (I know, it still shocks me that I have 3 kids). I experience the privilege to vote, and unfortunately now have the maturity to understand how cruel our world can be. I have learned that what my dad was actually “working” on all those year, what he was “doing,” was…
Serving our Country
Fighting for our freedoms that men and women have fought to protect for the ages. Braving what others might not, for our country. Protecting the people of the USA. Practicing what he was taught when he first entered the Army as a young lad, which was “Country first.” My dad has a true heart for this country proven by 20 years of service plus continued years of honoring his country.
I could likely end this post with a few closing statements, however I really want to give you some insight into how much this man, my dad, truly Loves this country…because that also helps explain why he was always “working”…
So as you can imagine some women couldn’t deal with a man like this. I wouldn’t be able to. Now this could partly be due to the fact that I am just like this man, however that’s another blog post… But my mom could and I make this point, because of a significant story of when they married.
You see, it happened pretty quickly. I’m talking ‘shotgun wedding.’ No, I’m kidding about that, but it is still a secret to my brother and I how long they were together before engaged to the wedding day… And to say my grandfather was none too happy about it, would probably be an understatement (so I hear, I don’t speak from firsthand knowledge).
Since he wasn’t quite ready to walk her down the aisle to this “hairy-legged boy” (as my husband would say), my grandpa had the preacher (oddly enough, a family friend) talk with both of them, separately, with my dad going first. Sounds more like a secret background check if you ask me. When it came to be mom’s turn, this pastor, a family friend, the one that was to marry them, told her this statement, which is probably why they are still married today…”You have to know that if you marry him, You will never be first in his life. If he has to choose you or his country, he will choose his country.”
Clearly she was okay with it, they had 2 kids and after 37 years, are still married…
And…That’s why we have freedom folks.
Because there are men and women who love and live for our country. And to each and every Veteran…Thank You!