A dedication to my father

Dad

I know you'll never read this page and I'll never have the gift with words that you did.  You wrote that dedication page for Bootie and made it beautiful.  I know mine to you will pale in comparison to yours for Bootie.

I didn't know everything about you.  There were so many things about Vietnam that you didn't share.  I can't ever understand what you or the other vets in the chapter have gone through.  I've never been to war.  I've never been in the military.  Hell, I dropped out of the boyscouts because of bullies.  I'm not strong like you.  This is the part where I'd be typing about how wonderful you were.  I'd be typing about all the things you did for the chapter, for the other vets, for your family, but the words just can't come to me.  At the time of typing this it's been 10 months since you left us, on Thanksgiving day, 2018, so in the spirit of that I'm just going to type this:

 

I'm thankful for your service to our country, even though I don't comprehend how difficult it must have been.

I'm thankful for all the years you busted your ass to keep a roof over our family's head.

I'm thankful for all the lessons you taught me growing up.  Accepting me for who I am, even if you didn't agree to all of my terms.

I'm thankful for the friends you brought into my life by getting the ball rolling to start this chapter.

I'm thankful for you always being there, through thick and thin.  Helping pick me up and guide me through the roughest parts of life.

All in all, I'm thankful that I ever had you as a father, that I knew you, and that you loved me.

 

I'll never have the right words to say who you were to me, and how much you meant.  We had our fights, some of them really bad, but you were always there.  I wish I could bring you back, but that damned Agent Orange finally made you give the ultimate sacrifice to your country.  Vietnam is how you died, we were just gifted with you sticking around long enough to be in our lives beyond the war.  I love you Dad.

Your son, Matthew