I hope 30 years from now when my boy sees me in a picture that only has him in it, only my best qualities are passed down the line.
As for my own Dad, I doubt there is any way I could ever match his grit, exploits or fortitude. To escape grinding poverty, he tricked his illiterate mother into signing the permission papers for him to join the Marines in late 1944 as he was only 16. Okinawa was the next stop for him though he missed the worst of the combat there. My son literally burst with pride when he found out gramps certainly served with Eugene Sledge who was featured in the HBO series The Pacific, in China the next year doing embassy duty in 1946 where the picture on the right was made.
Highly decorated for his combat exploits including the Purple Heart, he retired from the Marines 30 years later with his last active duty stop as First Sergeant of the Marine Helicopter Squadron in Da Nang Vietnam. He was featured in Stars and Stripes because he flew missions to set an example for his men despite the fact his rank entitled him to stay out of the line of fire.
He spoke very little of his combat experiences and had little patience for other vets who boasted about their exploits once telling me if someone bragged about combat they obviously had never been in a good fight.
Those trying figure out the hell raising SOB behind the Sop handle need not look any further.
Dad passed away in 1999. Of all the things Katrina took from me including what little innocence I had left at the time, the flag which draped his coffin is one of the things I miss the most.
Happy fathers day to all the dads in the Slabbed Nation.