You were a Green Beret. You are the first dad I remember. I am lucky. I have a dad who is in Heaven, I had you and I have a dad who has been around since I was 3. My dad in Heaven, I have no memories of. I was ten months old when he was killed in the line of service. You were there when my mom and my brother got the news. You took care of us.
When my mom began dating my dad who has been around since I was three-- he had to go TDY to Korea for a year. You took care of my family then too. You came over after working all day to put together my bicycle so that when I woke up in the morning on my birthday, I would see it. I got a spanking along with your younger son (your boys were my brothers) when we got caught putting sand in a gas tank. (Ee gads!) I knew then that I your daughter too.
We were taught if you fell asleep on the couch that we were to be careful about waking you. We knew that you might wake up in battle, as your first reaction. These are the consequences of war. You had gone into a burning huey to try to save men... you had to have skin grafts... You lost your brother in Vietnam. I knew you to be a kind, gentle man. And I loved you then and I love you still with all of my heart.
All I have is one picture of you. It is framed and on my wall. I have not seen you since we left Ft Bragg. I have never forgotten you and carry your memory. I search for you and search for you and wonder if perhaps you don't want to be found.
I just want to be able to hug you and tell you, "Thank you. I love you forever and always"
This blog post is part of The Love Letter Campaign... a project started by FamilyOfaVet.com to encourage those who love a hero to write a letter sharing their story (where they started, what they've faced together, and why their love endures). It's not just for spouses, but also for parents, siblings, caregivers, and friends. It's about telling the "rest" of our stories... stories that continue despite PTSD, TBI, and the challenges of life after combat. To share your love letter or find out more about the campaign, visithttp://www.familyofavet.co