Thursday, July 04, 2013

Honor Flight

I suppose that I should be posting something about today being the day that we (in the US) celebrate the anniversary of our independence. Since I'm certain that there will be numerous patriotic post to read about that, I'll take a little different patriotic path.

Several weeks ago, my dad made his way to Washington DC as a part of the Greater Peoria Honor Flight that pays tribute to those that have worn the uniform and served our great country. A part of the tribute is a mail call that allows for family and friends to write letters that are presented to the veterans on their return flight. (I know that this is supposed to be a surprise, but since the Honor Flights have been taking place for several years, I really don't think that it's a secret anymore.)

As one that often gets caught up in the busyness of my own life, I managed to let the deadline for my letter to be included pass. Even a feeble late attempt to include a letter failed. So this mornings post is to write my letter as an open letter to my Dad. It's fitting that it is on the Fourth of July--not because it's Independence Day, but because it is his birthday.

Dear Dad,

I'm sorry that this comes to you so much later than all of the other letters of thanks and appreciation. I know that your days as a young man were far different than mine and from the days of your grandkids. In a very real way, I think that our country has suffered from the fact that so few of our people now serve in the military forces. Perhaps our sense of entitlement would be greatly curbed if we all learned the discipline and honor code of our military forces.

I know that you are very proud that two of your kids did choose the military way of life, one retired National Guard and one serving as career Navy.

To say that your choice of serving in the Navy had a lasting impact on our family is an understatement. You must have been quite the young sailor to lure a young Filipina girl away from her family and everything she knew to marry you and move to the US as your wife!

So thank you for serving your country. Thank you for finding Mom and marrying her (good choice, by the way). And thank you for serving your family, as well. In spite of all of our quirks, faults and differences--I think that we've got an awesome family. Your kids are raising incredible kids. I can't wait to see everybody in a few weeks. You have a lot to be proud of.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

We will celebrate it with our kids and probably shoot off a firework or two. We'll eat some burgers or dogs and have a small helping of homemade ice cream. And while we're at it, we'll remember our freedom in the US of A and salute our country, as well.

Your ever procrastinating son
John <><


eViL pOp TaRt said...

Your letter is a fine tribute, John!

Bilbo said...

Well said, John! Wonderful post!