If you were to look up the word “patriotic” in the dictionary, you would find my dad’s name next to the meaning.
My dad entered the United States Marine Corps in January 1942. He was stationed at Midway Island and was there on June 4, 1942, during the Battle of Midway.
Dad stayed in the Marines until 1947. When he came home to Syracuse, N.Y., I was already born. Then in 1950 my brother Jan was born. My sister Denise was born in 1951.
When my brother and sister and I were growing up, Dad would put out the flag for holidays and the Marine Corps’s birthday.
The neighbors knew it just had to be a special day when they saw the Stars and Stripes hanging from the flagpole on our porch.
Year after year Dad kept the tradition going. I remember the look on my dad’s face as he would put the flag out. It was a look of pride and respect.
Dad taught us how to fold the flag. He would always give us little quizzes to make sure we knew all the proper flag etiquette. I would always pass with flying colors.
Red, white and blue were my dad’s favorite colors. He had a shirt with red and white stripes. Dad even had a red, white and blue tie. He would wear his Old Glory tie when he voted in any election. Sometimes on special occasions he would wear his blue suit and his stars and stripes shirt. He looked like a walking flag. As he would walk the look of pride and respect would take over his persona. He would be smiling from ear to ear. You couldn’t help but see how proud and respectful he was toward the flag.
Now I keep the tradition of putting out the flag on holidays and my dad’s birthday. I always remember him with LOVE, PRIDE and RESPECT.
When I was in high school my dad sat me down and said, “I have to talk to you.”
He explained to me to always stay on the payroll because I could get hurt on the job and I would be covered to go to the doctor. He also said if I was to get laid off I could collect unemployment benefits.
When I was about seven years old, my dad used to take me to the Stewart Indian Cemetery. He showed me what to clean up around our family plots. I remember taking two of my Hot Wheels cars and putting them on my uncle’s grave. They were babies when they passed away. My dad and I cleaned the graves for many years.
I had so much fun with Dad. Every Saturday morning he would take me to gas up his work truck. Then after that we went out to eat breakfast at the Cracker Box. We would stop at the dollar store and get a few things. Dad always let me get about three toys. I was into dinosaurs. Week after week I kept getting more and more dinosaurs.
Now all these years later I am on the payroll. We still go to the cemetery and the Dollar Tree store. Happy Father’s Day!
A father’s legacy
My father never said goodbye, or see you later, to his youngest son. Now 64 years old I still use his old saying today.
All he would say is, “Keep your powder dry.” It is dated, but so was my dear old dad.
Thanks, Appeal, for giving to your readers an old man’s legacy. He would be 104 this July.
Curtis T. Spencer
Son remembers father in new light
I have a vision of my late father that plays in my memory whenever I think of him.
I see him sitting with me under the huge pecan tree in our yard back in Norfolk, Va. Since I am approaching my teen years, he gives me advice on how I should live my life by reciting the Boy Scout laws; telling me to always be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. He tells me to always give maximum effort in all that I do, to dream the impossible, then to get out there and make it happen.
Unfortunately that conversation never really happened.
When I was 12, my father beat me without mercy with a belt or his fists. I wasn’t a boy who misbehaved. He would just look at me, and then go into a rage. The last time, he was punching me over and over again in the stomach. My mother screamed for him to stop, but when he didn’t, she ran to the kitchen, grabbed a cast iron frying pan and bashed him in the side of his head, leaving a huge cut.
It was only later when he died of cancer, did I realize that the cancer attacking his brain had likely caused him to fly into those fits of anger. I was fortunate to have surrogates who partly filled-in for my deceased father. My Scoutmaster, Mr. Buck Buchanan, my football coach, Mr. Jerry Sazio, and one of my early exemplars who was a customer on my paper route, Rear Admiral Carvel Blair, USN.
These men said the things that my father would have said. I prefer to remember my imaginary relationship with my father, since that would have been the real him, without the cancer.
J. Tyler Ballance
Thank you for being the best dad
Having a father like you is one of the greatest blessings in my life. You’re not a teacher but you’ve taught me one of the most valuable things in life, how to live a worthy life.
You’re not a doctor but you’ve always been there when I’m not feeling well and have come to my aide when I’ve been sick. You’re not a soldier, but you’ve faced my toughest battles with me.
You’ve been the best protector and have sacrificed anything and everything to keep me safe. You’re not an astronaut, but you reach for the stars to make my wishes and dreams come true. In every day of my life you’ve always made me feel special. You are the best father, the best of everything and I thank you for lessons you have taught me and continue to teach me.
The best advice I’ve ever received has been from you; “Take my advice and do what you want.” Thank you for your support and guidance through this crazy thing we call life! Love you, Dad! Happy Fathers Day!
Happy Father’s Day
There is something very wonderful
And special about a father’s love,
Especially when that love
Is blessed by our heavenly father above.
The one that God has ordained
He has chosen you to be their guide,
A father who loves them deeply
And will always be at their side.
It is his role to be a model
And to lead them through
All the trials and struggles in this life
That they will be subjected to.
But, most of all, you should be thankful
By honoring our heavenly father above
For the precious gift of our salvation
Through Christ Jesus and his love.
So, on this special day set aside
To honor fathers, whether near or far,
For all the times you have sacrificed
Has made you the awesome dad you are.
Any man can become a father,
But it takes someone special to be a dad.
God bless you on your special day!