Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Daddy's (Big) Girl

For those who don't know, my father will be retiring in early 2008 from the Air Force, after over 30 years of service. As a sort of thank you to him for his service, I wrote a short essay for a larger Father's Day 2008 piece that will be running in one of his favorite magazines. Since I don't know if it will make the cut for the magazine, I thought I would publish it here. Today is my dad's 56th birthday.

A lot of little girls say that their father is their hero. I was no exception. But my father wasn’t my hero because he bought me a pony (he didn’t), or because he helped me with my math homework (that, he did) – my dad has served in the military for thirty plus years, served in three major US conflicts and has been deployed on countless missions to serve neighbors in need. And he does this every day because he’s passionate about his work and about helping people – certainly not for the paycheck, which helped to pay my way through college.

I’ve only really come to appreciate my father’s heroism as I became an adult myself. His hard work and patriotism only solidified for me after I saw people of my own age (and several years younger), being deployed with him to Iraq. I knew my dad would look out for these boys in the desert, just as he always looked out for me. Over the course of several months these boys would become just as much his family as I am. He became their hero as well.

Now, as my father enters is much awaited and much-deserved retirement, I can only say this -- Thank you, Dad. You’re remarkable, and you are a true hero.

December 2007

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