My father was a tough guy – a product of both nature and nurture.
His formal education consisted of six grades in elementary school.
He landed on Omaha Beach at age 21, marched across France and Germany, earned six battle ribbons, a purple heart, and four bronze stars for valor.
He worked thirty-six years on the St. Joseph, Missouri, Fire Department, retiring as Chief.
He worked a second job so my mother could stay home with the children.
He sacrificed any personal material reward in favor of giving to his children.
He always voted for democrats because he believed America was a land of equal opportunity.
He believed the role of our government was to make sure the playing field was even – equal opportunity for education and health care.
He believed in government regulations so the rich would not take advantage of the poor with tainted food, unfair labor practices, loan shark banks, and discrimination.
He opposed the Vietnam war because of the useless waste of the lives of American soldiers.
He supported the war in Afghanistan and despised the war in Iraq.
He did not blindly follow phoney politicians – he believed each of us should honor our right to vote by being informed, honest, and mature.
He did not believe in bumper sticker simplicity to solve all problems.
He was a true member of the ‘greatest generation’.
He was not always right but he always stood for what he believed.
He was a man of honor and integrity, never shirking a duty, always paying his bills, never taking a hand-out, and dedicated beyond measure to his family.
I miss him.