Today is Veterans Day, a very special day for me and my family. I am a veteran of the United States Navy, and I have two sons that are serving in the United States Army. The life of a service member is not always easy – but my two sons have made me very proud.
I remember when my oldest son was in fourth grade. I was invited to his school with all the other veterans and service members. We were set in the front rows of the auditorium, and the kids came out and sang songs and did presentations. It was wonderful – then my son came out and read a paper that he wrote called My Dad, My Hero. I went away from that assembly with tears in my eyes.
Since then he enlisted into the Army National Guard, he has seen war in Afghanistan, he has represented his unit and the United States at football games in Seattle at the SeaHawk Stadium. Most of all he has been proud to wear his uniform as a soldier. His service and his sacrifice has been sometimes a hard burden to bear, but he has done it with grace and courage.
I am proud of you my oldest son, my hero.
I left the Navy when my wife was pregnant with our twins, we had a boy and a girl. When my youngest son grew up, he was like a ship without a rudder. He had no direction or control over his life. I felt he was wasting his life and I didn’t know what I could do for him.
Then my son announced he was going into the military. He wanted to be a Nurse and he knew the best way was to go through the service. He chose the Army and went off to bootcamp. His bootcamp was hard, and his Nursing training was long and difficult – he made it through. He graduated from his school just as COVID-19 hit. He could not leave for his duty station, and was stuck in Texas. Then he received his orders for Hawaii.
My youngest son is working on the front lines during this pandemic, but just like his older brother, he is a warrior. He also wears his uniform with pride. He is all alone in Hawaii, but he is in our hearts back home. I appreciate his service and his sacrifice.
I am proud of you my youngest son, my hero.
I am a very blessed father and citizen of this country. Even in the midst of the political turmoil in this country, we need to stop, put our differences aside and thank our veterans and service members. Happy Veterans Day.