OK now we have the right day for this posting. Three years ago today I was headed to my first art fair after my dad had passed away just 5 days earlier. It was November 11th,Veterans Day. In the drivers seat was a small vase holding three carnations, one red, one white, and one blue to honor my dad's love of the navy. As I looked over at the vase I could feel my dad sitting right next to me. It was comforting to have him present and I am not sure I would have made it through that day if it weren't for his help. This is such a vivid memory it still brings tears to my eyes today.
My dad joined the navy when he was 18. He dutifully served his country through the Korean War. Those were the best and worst days of his life which he did not talk about much till his last months. His navy buddies were his family and he was still grieving their deaths as his own drew near. War is hell and I appreciate all that my dad sacrificed to serve his country.
Through his stories I also learned more about why my dad did not do certain things throughout his life. He did not eat beans or fish because he had eaten too much of them in the navy. He did not swim because he was thrown off the bow of the ship. He did however ski around the lake ONCE just to prove to everyone he could do it. He never even got his hair wet. And dad never got in an airplane again after his last naval flight home.
Everyday when I hang the flag outside my house I take a moment to salute my dad and the men, women, and dogs in our military.