Ah, today is Memorial Day 2011 and what I’m seeing, Atlanta is going to have some very nice barbecue kinda of a day. But I want bring back a post that wrote a few years ago about my dad and what he taught me during the 23.5 year opportunity to be with him.
Before there was Seal Team 6 there was my dad hanging and training in Coronado Bay, San Diego with SEAL TEAM 1 in the 60s. He died when I was 23.5 but man did I learn a lot during my time with him. Well, I don’t know if I learned a lot verses I was taught a great deal but didn’t learn to appreciate its importance and apply it to life until years later. I don’t have scientific proof or the results of a battery test of children from parents in the military but I think there is an education about life and family that you just can’t get anywhere else but from a parent with military experience behind it. My reasoning comes from the fact that there is no other job that someone signs up for in which the job description includes: “You will protect the freedom’s and rights of the American Citizens and you will do so at all costs within the law.” That means putting your life on the line if you are so called to do so.
My dad was single while he was in the Vietnam war so whenever an opportunity came up he always volunteered for additional assignments. I only learned this when a seal buddy of his brought it up in conversation. Like most military folk my dad didn’t say too much about his experience. He always told me that when I turned 15 he would tell me everything well….that never happened.
I remember seeing and reading commendations he received for putting his life in harms way in order to save a wounded teammate. One of the most influential experiences that I had with my father was when our family went camping. He decided to take us boys on a walk about around the camp ground. Well, we didn’t stay on the grounds very long and the next thing I know is that we were climbing up rocks and sliding down them. We were sliding down them because there was no way to either climb up or down them. I distinctly remember how scared I was to slide down this particular rock because it took my dad longer than I thought it should take to slide down. So when we all grouped, I asked my dad, “If we can’t climb back up then what are we going to do?” His response, “There is always a way out.” And wouldn’t you know it……we found our way out.
Here are a few of his teachable moment quotes.
- “You only get sick if you want to” (take the principle of this, he was a SEAL)
- “Son, you’re going to go if you like it or not. Deciding if you have a good time is up to you.”
- “There is nothing wrong with being scared but never let it make your decisions for you”
- “A person can’t play the victim for the rest of their lives”
- “Son, You can ask me for anything that you want. You may not get it but I can guarantee you that if you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it at all.”