Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit with my father and thank him for his former service to our country.
We talked about his service in Vietnam and lessons learned that seem to still perpetuate in service and in private employment (warehouse logistics managers seem to want to clear held inventory even if the engineers need it on shelf for emergency deployment).
Dad served as a commissioned officer in the 18th Engineer Brigade of the United States Army. He volunteered to serve and left his newly formed family behind to go overseas.
Growing up I remember he had a few shadow-boxes with some of his medals and pins and insignia patches. However, what made a more lasting impact to me of his years in service were the many, many photographs on the walls of the people and places of Vietnam; the good ones. Ones that you would expect to see today in travel shows and brochures. The people were proud and kind and human and the culture rich and vibrant, despite the war raging around them. Dad was already an accomplished amateur photographer and his skill and eye for detail went overseas with him. Dad was able to capture the flavor and color of the country’s heart wonderfully and bring that legacy home for us to see.
We were a fortunate family and can celebrate his service together father and sons on Veteran’s day. Many don’t have that opportunity.
I was doing some shopping online a few weeks ago and spotted some nice high-quality decals with a few of his Brigade’s insignias in different styles so I ordered some and dropped them in the mail with a card that Alvis and Lavie also left messages in. It seemed like a very small and insignificant gesture for such a big sacrifice. But the conversation and sharing it re-started will remain priceless.
Happy Veteran’s Day, Dad. Thank you again.
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