I am, and have always been, a Daddy’s girl – a football throwing, track running, baseball smacking, “rather hang out with Daddy than go shopping with Mama” Daddy’s girl. My Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2003, and passed away November, 2007. He served in the U.S. Army long before I was thought of, and saw action during the Korean War. Not one day goes by that I don’t think of him, miss him, and smile with gratitude for knowing him.
Times like this, I am not only grateful for what he taught me, but for what he did for all of us by serving in the Military. Military service is a sacrifice, and we should never forget that because of the sacrifices of others, we are allowed to live in relative peace, unaffected by war-ravaged streets, blood-shed, and constant fear for our lives.

This Veteran’s Day, I’m remembering the many times my Dad saved me from yet another shopping trip with my Mom and sister, the many times he allowed me to wear jeans and tennis shoes to school when my Mom laid out dresses for me, the many times he smiled indulgently to soften my Mom’s frowns when I ran in scarred and dirty from street football or backyard dodge ball, and the many times he told me how beautiful and smart I was until I believed him.

This same man taught me to throw a football against my Mom’s permission, sat proudly and patiently while I sang and practiced piano, and taught me to love and appreciate jazz music. He laid an unshakable foundation so that no matter what happened with other men in my life, I knew that I was worthy of love and respect. Every girl needs one. Every woman needs to know the love of a good father. My Dad even talked to my x-husbands and patiently instructed them on how to “get along” with me, admitting that I could be “difficult” at times. Unfortunately, they had other ideas – that’s why they’re called “x’s” 😀
I miss my Dad, but he will never really be gone from my life. His influence will always be with me. In fact, every hero in my stories, though each one is different, is patterned after some endearing characteristic of my Dad. This Veteran’s Day, say a special prayer of thanks for all of the brave souls who gave their lives to keep us safe, and a prayer of thanks and protection for all of those who are still with us, and if you can do something to make their lives easier and brighter, don’t hesitate to do it while you can. Pay tribute to them, and never forget. Have a glorious, blessed Veteran’s Day.