Remembering Dad

With Memorial Day behind us and my dad’s birthday and Father’s Day approaching, my thoughts have been focused on him.

Picture of Soldier saluting American FlagA man of character: Dad was a hard worker and always took his responsibilities seriously. He would stay with a task and make sure it was done and done right. Whether it was for work or a volunteer project he approached it the same way. He ran a youth football league in our city which my brother and I played in when we were younger.

A man of courage: Dad enlisted in the army so he could fight in World War II. 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. His father came over from Italy and it took him 4 years to save up enough money to bring the rest of the family over.

A man of compassion: Dad always had a kind heart, but would never share his feelings very much at all. When my mom’s health got very bad my dad gave her great care around the clock. 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.

Funeral at Arlington National CemeteryA man who 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. My dad was hospitalized and my family and I drove several hours out of 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” 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. I have one of his flags, medals 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 an all American hero as a soldier, father and husband.