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Dad (standard:other, 749 words)
Author: Ira L. WhiteAdded: May 26 2003Views/Reads: 1778/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A tribute to my dad, a decorated WWII Veteran and a super father!


I think of my dad as being half of the reason I am here. When I was just
a toddler, Dad was my main teacher. He taught me how to play baseball, 
fish, hunt, garden. The list of things he taught me is endless. He 
bought me a Gilbert chemistry set when I was 5. Mom was afraid of us 
blowing up the place, so she insisted we do our experiments out in the 
old abandoned milk barn in back. Dad took me camping and taught me how 
to survive in the woods with only a knife and a book of matches. Our 
family had many adventures together out in the wilderness. 

When I became a teen, Dad worried, as all parents of teens worry, and we
fought over our differences. He never gave up hope on me, though. We 
went through a couple of years not speaking to each other. It was my 
choice, not his. In the end, I came back to him and discovered that the 
love I had been missing was his. I have been close to him ever since. I 
call my parents nearly every weekend and visit them whenever I am in 
town. Dad is now in his eighties and he still keeps his garden and his 
love for me alive. 

Over the years I have come to know this man well. He has made his
mistakes as we all do. He does not let a few mistakes stop him from 
being a loving parent. Our family has constantly made fun of some of 
his ways, ones he will never change and that at times irritate us, 
especially Mom. Dad sometimes is hurt by this. He is a very sensitive 
person. He is also somewhat modest. For instance, it wasn't until about 
eight years ago that I learned he was a hero in WWII. He had mentioned 
being in the navy and had told us all the fun things they did but he 
had never mentioned the pure terror and horror of being in war. Then, 
one day he invited me to go fishing. On that trip, our last fishing 
trip together, he told me the story of how he shot down an enemy plane 
from the deck of his ship as flames leaped around him and bullets flew. 
The plane was strafing his ship and he had the courage to stand in the 
face of those bullets coming straight at him to shoot down this plane 
so that it wouldn't kill any more of his shipmates. 

Half of what I am today is because of Dad. He used to tell me things and
then say, I know you don't believe this, son, but some day you are 
going to. Some day you will look back on what I have said and you will 
remember. He never spoke words more true. I still find myself telling 
my grown children things I feel they need to know and realizing at the 
same time that these were the same things Dad told me. I am proud of my 
children. They have become productive, smart, and wonderful beings. 
People say I am responsible, at least in part, because of all the work 
I put into their growing up. Without my dad's teaching, I would not 
have done as well at my task of raising my children. 

When I think of all that I have done, everything stretches into a long
line that is continuing on and will continue on after I am no more. The 
children I have raised are becoming successful in many areas of their 
lives and I, as a parent have had an impact on that. Dad is a part of 
the chain that stretches across four generations. I have not mentioned 
his dad, because Dad was orphaned just a couple of months before he was 
born. Dad is the first link in a new chain he and Mom have created. The 
work Dad has done will have positive effects for years to come. Every 
link in a chain depends on all the other links to hold it together. The 
work I have done with my children would not have been done without all 
that Dad did for me. When I think of Dad's contributions to me, to my 
children, and all the other children that will be, I feel both love and 
gratitude for what he has done. Dad did not have to go to war to be a 



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