Today is June 19th, Father’s Day. It’s a day we are supposed to spoil our dads, or the men who raised us, and, well, show them how much they mean to us. I’d love to be able to do that, Dad.
I’d love to be able to take you out and show you just how good my curve ball is getting since you showed me where to place my thumb, and then each finger.
You were home from Afghanistan that weekend, remember?
We had two whole weeks to work on it, and even though I’ve been practicing every night with Tommy’s dad down the street, it was those two weeks with you that made the difference. I made Varsity, did Mom tell you? So, I have that to be thankful for, with about a million other little things.
Dad, I’m so proud of you. Tommy’s dad gets to be there for the small things, the games, the practices, and all that—and believe me, I wish you could be there too—but that’s not the important stuff. You’ve taught me what it is to be a man, what it is to work hard for what I really want, what will help me in the long term, not just right now.
Your advice to ignore the bullies and “knuckle down” in my studies was the right way to go. One of the kids who was picking on me is getting kicked out of school, and thanks to you, I’m on the Dean’s List.
You showed me what the real fights are that are worth fighting, and my future is definitely worth it.
Dad, you’ve given me a role model that no amount of playing in the street can replace. When your buddies were pinned down on your last deployment, you helped carry them to safety. Seeing you receive that award, I knew that your buddies couldn’t be in better hands. As long as my dad was with them, they’d make it home from anything. I didn’t mind giving up some time with you so you could do the right thing. The fights worth fighting, remember? See, I listen, even when you think I don’t.
Dad, I’d give anything to celebrate today with you. And Veteran’s Day, and your birthday (and not just to laugh at you because of how many candles you have on your cake now), and Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for because of you, and it sucks not being able to take you to see a Red Sox game, or out to that steak house that Mom always says is too expensive, but lets you go to anyway.
You deserve that, and more.
You deserve a break, to have someone fight the fight for you this time. Sometimes I feel like you’ve done your work, and it is time to come home, be with us. But then I remember how important your work is; what you do is brave, and I couldn’t ask for more than that. America couldn’t either.
So, Dad, just know I love you. I know you can’t be here today, and I hope it’s steak and lobster day in the chow hall, so you at least get some sort of recognition.
Because you are everything to me—my hero, my friend, my coach, and most importantly, my dad.
Stay safe, and I’ll see you soon with plenty of time off for both of us to hit a few baseballs out of the park. And maybe some steaks afterwards. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.
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