Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Army Hero

As I enjoyed having yesterday off from work, I did take some time to think about Memorial Day and what it represents.  Though most times I tend to think of fallen soldiers that died for our freedoms, I found myself remembering that many walking and living among us are still former veterans and deserve as much of our thanks.  And among that group is my dad.  Already my lifelong hero anyway, thinking about his military service just reminds me of the example he set forth and the leadership qualities he possesses.

By the grace of God dad was sent to Germany at the tail end of the Vietnam war and never had to face that particular conflict.  My favorite story from his service was during a shift on a missile TAC site.  He was the commanding officer at the time a MIG from East Germany flew over restricted West German air space.  The regulations stated that the highest ranking officer was to lock down the site and prepare for missile launch.  A General got word that the situation was escalating and tried to land his helicopter on the TAC site and take over command.  Dad had him surrounded by MP's and taken to a secure location until the lock down was over.  As if making the decision to shoot down enemy aircraft wasn't stressful enough, he'd now essentially arrested a General for violating regulations.

Thankfully rather than starting a war, the MIG did a U-turn and went back to his side of the playground.  The General was released and settled into the office, calling my dad in for what he assumed would be a dressing down of extreme proportions.  He knew well enough that regulations or not, the ego of a General would not take lightly to being detained by MP's at his command.  So he entered the office, ready for the worst.  Instead the General told him he must have the biggest pair of cajones in the world to pull something like that and continued to compliment him for going by the book.  I think there was a "and never do that again" clause but the General knew he didn't have a leg to stand on.

So dad, thank you for being my hero!  For teaching me how to be a man with cojones but also teaching me how to love and be tender-hearted with my kids and wife.  I try to emulate you in every area of life and I think that's a safe bet since you always try to emulate Christ.


sonofdavid said...

Well-said brother man. That is one of my favorite stories. We are very lucky to have such great dad!