Thursday, September 27, 2007

My dad, my hero

My father is an active duty pilot in the United States Air Force Reserve, and he recently left for an overseas trip. As I watched The War last night, only once did I wonder “Where is my dad?” Sometimes he doesn’t even know where he is going until he boards the plane.

In his 20 years of service, my father never says “goodbye” when he leaves for trips. It’s more likely “I love you.” With a quick wave or hug, my mother would shuttle him to an airport or he would drive away to the closest Air Force base.

I guess this is strategic, because as a child I never even had a second thought about whether or not my father would come home. Never tears or hysterics from my mother, no concern even crossed her face. It is always a casual “See you later, I love you.” He has been doing it for so long it is just normal for him to leave for weeks at a time.

Ken Burns’ tagline for The War is “in extraordinary times there are no ordinary lives.” Well, my parents made my life as ordinary as possible.

My father is the BEST at ordinary things. He dressed my Barbie dolls with me when I was younger, shingled my doll house roof and even would make presentations at my school about being a pilot. He always does father stuff well, especially telling me how proud he is of me.

However, I don’t think I tell him enough of how proud I am of him. There are those extraordinary moments when a light will go on in my head: my dad is an American hero. Like when I attended an air show in high school with my family, and he wore his flight suit; a little boy asked him for his autograph and a picture. I probably complained about being on asphalt all day in the hot sun, but I was proud to be there with him.

My ordinary dad is my everyday hero, and not because he is in the military—just because he is my dad.

Thanks for the reminder, MPT.

Desirée Edwards
Assistant Manager, Major and Planned Giving

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