Posts Tagged ‘My Father Was A Soldier’

MEMORIES IMPRINTED IN MY HEART

Monday, May 26th, 2014

10274149_10152813861948032_8195037176766661510_n 2IN MEMORY OF MY FATHER AND MOTHER: During my entire life, I have never known two individuals more proud of their citizenship to the United States of America. Nor, two, so willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary to earn the freedoms¬†their adopted country required. I can’t count the number of times my parents would counsel me after bringing home my report card shy of a 4.0, “You have to work harder…this isn’t good enough…you are an American, you have to try to be better.” That’s a lot of pressure to put on a kid, but being an American meant something different to my Dad–originally a native of British Samoa, this Master Sergeant “Peppy” as his Marine troops fearfully called him–ran 11 miles a day, taught me to swim laps underwater in our backyard pool without coming up for air until he gave the thumbs up to do so–would lift weights in our garage, daily at 5 a.m. producing a physique that was solid as a rock. Less you think, like I did, that this daily regiment was for vanity’s sake–the real reason only became evident during his Memorial Service in a packed Chapel in Oceanside, California as members of my father’s battalion lined up to tell me again and again, “Your father saved my life in Vietnam. He was an extraordinary soldier…there wasn’t anything he would not do for us.” Dad wanted to be absolutely fit and always ready to protect his men.

While my father was fighting in the jungles of Vietnam, my mother was home raising two teenagers, working full time, and constantly praying that the Chaplain’s Black car in search of an address on our street would not stop at our driveway. We knew they were the bearer of bad news. I remember Mom spending many lonely, sleepless nights, and lived for my father’s letters which she would read over and over again. Weekends were spent manicuring our lawn and her rose garden. It kept her mind off the foreign war, reasons for which she barely understood, as her husband heeded the call to serve not once, but many times over an entire decade.

I am cognizant that this story is not exclusive to our family…it is one that continues to replay in households across America. On this Memorial Day, I reverently pay tribute to the soldiers who sacrificed for you and I…and to the women whose faces are bathed in tears…who served as both mother and father to children who sleep beneath a photograph of a soldier dressed in a hero’s uniform…for me, it was the uniform of Semper Fidelis…”Always Faithful” member of the Marine Corps of the United States of America.

#HonoredToBeAnAmerican

#FreedomHasNeverBeenFree

#ISaluteMySoldierDad

#ILoveYouMomAndDad #GratefulBeyondMeasure

#BeingAMilitaryBratTaughtMeResiliency

#MilitaryChildrenSeeTheWorldDifferently

#IPrayForPeaceEveryday

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