Veterans Day in the United States is celebrated on November 11 each year to honor all persons that served in all the branches of the US military. Originally celebrated as Armistice Day commemorating the end of World War I; the day was renamed Veterans Day in 1959. Not to be confused with Memorial Day in May, Veterans Day celebrates the service of all US military veterans; Memorial Day honors those who died while performing their military service.
My Dad was a veteran, extremely patriotic and very proud of his service to our country. Dad served in the US Army during the time of the Korean Conflict. Stationed in Germany, dad’s job kept the Army’s fleet of vehicles running. Thanks to the training he received in the service, Dad went on to spend over 50 years as a diesel mechanic. In school, Dad was not a good student. He struggled in many classes but, the military did not mind; they saw more than a poor student. They discovered Dad’s interest in automobiles and machinery and decided he would make a fantastic mechanic. Everyone has a niche and Dad’s was fixing vehicles. He loved his military service, felt honored to be a part of the Army and he talked about it like it was a very selective club he was privileged to belong to.
Luckily, Dad never saw combat and we always felt blessed that he came home and was able to marry his sweetheart and start a family. He always told us, we live in the best country. He made sure we had ample opportunity to learn how to enjoy a patriotic life because of the men and women that served to keep our freedoms. Dad shared his love for us and his love of country in a way that let us know just how much he valued his military service. And Dad taught us to respect the work these brave soldiers do. When all 5 of us were younger, still in school, Dad would get up quite early on holiday morning’s drive more than an hour to Great Lakes Naval base and pick up a few sailors, bring them home to share our holiday then cart them back to base at the end of a long day of fun, food and entertainment. Dad knew what a home cooked meal with a family and a little down time meant to guys away from home but more importantly, Dad was teaching us to respect and honor these unsung heroes.
Thanks to my father’s patriotism I learned at a very early age that we live in the best country in the world. I learned to wave that big old red, white and blue and honor the commitment so many made. Because of Dad’s early lessons, I will never shirk my patriotic duty. I am a flag waving, national anthem singing, All-American gal and always will be. Thanks Dad for encouraging a patriotic duty in each member of our entire family. And thank you to every veteran who gave of their time to ensure our continued freedom.