Something's been nagging at me all day. It's Veteran's Day, as you all know, and I really didn't pay enough tribute to the veteran in my life -- my own father.
I told you in the previous post that he fought in the Vietnam and Korean Wars. I was a tween then, and going off to war was just my father's job. It's what he did. Some people's fathers work in construction, some are lawyers, some fight fires. My father fought other men. It was his job, and I never understood the importance -- and magnitude -- of it, really. But I do now, all these years later.
This past summer, my daughters and I went to Wisconsin to see our first pow-wow. My father had the privilege of carrying the American flag for our tribe because he is the highest decorated Air Force officer in the Oneida nation. (That's a BIG deal!) He carried the flag stoically, pridefully, and I could see how much he was respected by other veterans. (That's him in the photo.) For the first time ever, I understood that soldiering wasn't just my father's job, it was, and is, his identity. It is the centerpiece of his life. It is his heart.
My father and I don't always see eye to eye. Who am I kidding . . . we fight a lot! I know I don't say this often enough, but I am proud of you, Dad. And I hope you got all the respect you deserved today on your day, Veteran's Day.