Though my dad and I are currently estranged, his choice, I might add, I still take the time to honor him for his service to our country. My dad served in the United States Army and fought in the Vietnam War. I hadn’t been born yet, but it would be many years after my birth that I would begin to touch the surface of what he truly sacrificed for this country.
My dad never talked much of his time in the war. I can count on one hand how many times he mentioned something about it in my 44 years of life. But from what he shared about what he endured during the war coupled with his abandonment issues from his youth, I know my dad returned from the war physically whole but with emotional issues that only issues that God deliver him from.
My understanding of this is the only thing that allows me to focus less on my own pain from his deliberate absence from my life and to pray for his pain. I know my dad is only one of thousands of Veterans who return from war forever damaged. I’m sorry for the other children suffering in relationships with their mothers or fathers who suffered emotional damage from war. Our Veterans deserve so much more than the freebies they get on this day.
Today I texted my dad “Happy Veteran’s Day”, pushing away any expectation of a reply. It could go either way. Instead I reflected on fond memories of these pictures of better times with my dad. It was November 2015. My late husband, son, and I had gone to meet my dad at one his favorite steak joints. He way happy. I was happy. My husband and son were happy. It was a good day.
I was sharing these photos with a coworker when I received a text.
“Thank you”. My heart kinda leaped.
Happy Veteran’s Day,
3 thoughts on “Honoring My Veteran”
K E Garland
You’re a good one girl. Many readers often reach out to me about your story, in particular, wondering why? I think it’s honorable you continue to try.
Really? That’s interesting. I’ve actually backed off of trying to bridge the gap between us. I used to send random text messages to let him know I was thinking about him. Now my contact is limited to this holiday and his birthday. I may feel guilty for the time in my early adulthood that I didn’t really try to have a relationship with him. I’m actually beginning to talk about my relationship with him in therapy.
K E Garland