This time of year, makes me reflect on my father in a special way. Dad was in the Army for 37 years so Memorial Day always meant a lot to him and his birthday was in June about a week before Father’s Day.
All-American in his work ethic: Dad was an incredibly hard worker and always took his responsibilities seriously. He was highly organized and made sure everything he was responsible for was done right. Dad had the same approach to everything whether it was for work or a volunteer project he gave it the same effort. He ran a youth football league in our city which my brother and I played in when we were younger. My grandfather came over from Italy and it took him 4 years to save up enough money to bring the rest of the family over. Hard work you might say was a family tradition.
All-American in his courage: My dad enlisted in the army so he could fight in World War II. He was a tool and die maker before he enlisted and they were greatly needed during the war so he did not have to join the army, but he wanted to. He spent 37 years in the military and retired as a Sargent Major. He had his unit he was in charge of for years and ran it with great precision and pride. My dad was also in the Korean conflict. He loved the army and his country very much. He was the first one in our family born in America and his love of country was always evident.
All-American in his compassion: Dad always had a kind heart, but would never share his feelings very much at all. He had an old school approach and kept most things to himself. When my mom’s health got very bad my dad gave her great care around the clock care. I saw a tender side of my dad that before you would only see glimpses of, but now was in full display. I believe he took a few years off his life by all the things he did for my mother. My dad sacrificed for his country, his family and now for the person he loved the most in this world my mom. Dad would never brag about his sacrifice, he just did it because he believed it was right.
All-American in his attitude as he never complained: When dad started to decline in health he did not complain about all the things he could not do. He drove into his early 90’s and stayed active until the last few months of his life. I don’t remember my dad complaining about anything when I lived at home. I am sure he had his frustrations, but he did not indulge in self-pity.
My dad was hospitalized and my family and I drove several hours (as I lived in a different state) to see him. It was hard to see dad in such rough shape, although it was great to see him again. Then the end was near and my two sisters and brother went to the hospital. One of my sisters called and held the phone so I could speak to him one last time. I told him that I loved him and that God loved him as quoted John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” and then I prayed with him. After I hung up the phone I shed many tears and I thanked God for the wonderful father I had.
In my house, I have a section that pays tribute to my dad. I have one of his flags, several medals, his picture and many great memories that I will always cherish. I had the privilege to speak at dad’s funeral and honor his great memory. My dad was all American hero as a solider, father and husband.