Today is Veterans day and people all over the US are either thanking, congratulating or celebrating our men and women who serve in the military. The guy dressed out in camouflage below is my dad during one of his many days serving in the US Army. He’s retired now (full bird Colonel) but still pretty active. He’s what many would consider a lifer, meaning he’s dedicated his life to his chosen profession.
He’s also chose to raise a family as you can see from the photo below. That’s my dad, mom, sister and me during an event recently where my Dad was inducted into a Hall of Fame for his chosen military profession.
Growing up with a father in the military wasn’t easy. There were many nights where he was traveling or just not available for whatever reason. I never questioned it because early on it was instilled in me to have respect for those who served our country. I never had to salute my dad, or call him sir, he was just dad to me. Sure I’d call everyone else sir (and still do in many cases) and as I got older I enjoyed calling them Captain, Major, General etc as I learned their ranks. But again it was out of respect for what they do.
Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about my dad’s career. I’ve got to meet people who actually served with him and worked above, below and right next to him. With each encounter the respect I have for what my dad did grows and grows. I’m 33, 34 in February, so you can use that to figure out where all my dad might have served and seen. He’s done a lot in his career and continues to do, even today.
Having had the pleasure to work alongside my dad for a few years, along with other veterans, active duty personnel and friends serving, has taught me one simple thing. It’s something I wish everyone would realize, hold on to and put into action.
They aren’t just soldiers, they are people with families and friends and they made a choice to do something many of us would never do. So today yes we should all thank them, celebrate them and give them a hug.
But we should do the same tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next day….
Thanks dad for the choices you’ve made and continue to make.