My Dad is My Hero

My Dad is My Hero
I love my mother, but on the week of Father's Day let me tell you about my father.  When I say that my dad is my hero, I truly mean what I say.  For context purposes, my parents are alive and doing well in their 80s now and I am married to the love of my life with 3 adorable kiddos of our own.  I knew that there was something special about my dad when I was a child, but the real awareness of his heroism is showing itself to me daily as I try to be more like him.  
My father grew up poor in the mountains of New Mexico.  They were only poor in terms of money though, their large family was strongly knit together, anchored by my grandfather who helped my father become the great man that he is today.  My father served our great nation as a proud marine during the Vietnam war.  When he returned home he was subjected to protests and witnessed the flag that he fought for being burned in the streets.  Instead of becoming outraged my father prayed for them to find peace in their lives.  My father suffered a minor injury while in the marines losing a portion of one of his fingers.  Instead of declaring that he was wounded, he continued as a marine with normal pay.  When he retired from the marine corp he refused to be listed as wounded and therefore did not accept any of the benefits that come with being a wounded veteran.  He felt like he did not need any special treatment when he witnessed others he served return home in much worse shape.  
After the marines my dad began his professional career and found himself in a role where he was a top consultant for life insurance.  He excelled in his career because of his hard work ethic, his caring heart for his clients, and dedication to both integrity and trust.  When my father tells you he is going to do something, you know that he is going to get it done.  When my father takes action, it is always focused on doing the right thing.  Is my father perfect?  Nope, I believe that only one person has ever walked this earth without sin (Jesus Christ).  I know that if I ever ask my father for help, he'll be there for me no matter what the circumstances may be at that time.  Faith, Family, Work.  The order of these priorities is critical and my father got it right and he's my hero.  
There was a time in our FreshJax history many years back when we were really struggling to make this whole thing work.  Quite honestly, we were on the brink of bankruptcy.  My father did not have the money to bail us out of the situation, but what he did have was himself.  He was retired and he dropped everything he had going on with his retired life (president of the car club, 4 golf outings per week, dancing with my mom, softball team, etc.) and he drove over to be there for me, whatever that meant.  He helped me bottle spices, label spices, pack boxes, load trucks, attend marketing meetings, and more.  The key here is that he is always there for me, through the thick and the thin of it.  
Does your father ever bring up the same story time and time again?  Mine sure does and it's always fun to see the enormous smile on his face when he acts it out.  He was in the stands at my little league baseball game.  I was not a great player, but I did have some speed (dad always says that I was born with my legs already running in place).  I was at bat and hit a solid line drive in between the first and second baseman.  I was determined to get a double out the play, which caused the outfielder to stress seeing me round first base and he missed the ground ball.  The hit had enough speed on it that the ball went to the fence.  Seeing this I kept running and running.  I got my first home run, (an in the park home run).  My dad made his way to the fence to cheer me on and he overheard the head coach talk to the 3rd base coach afterwards asking "did you send him home" and the reply was "send him??????  I didn't even see him!"  By this time my dad is always laughing hysterically.  I love this man.
My father had the opportunity to work more hours and earn higher commissions, but he always chose to be there to root us on with our sports.  He had the opportunities to skip church on Sundays and play golf with friends, but he chose to be a great leader and he made sure that we grew up knowing about the love of Christ and learning how to love others unconditionally.  
To my father:  I love you with my whole heart.  Thank you for all of the unconditional love and support you have proven to me through the years.  You are the inspiration for me in learning to be the best father that I can be to your grandchildren.  I pray that I can inspire them to continue the generational teachings for our entire lineage yet to come.  I love you dad!
To everyone else:  Thank you for taking the time to read this personal documentation of my father's love for his children.  I pray that if you don't have this type of person in your life that one day soon you will.  Happy Father's Day!  

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