Happy Birthday, Dad!
It’s been 11 years since we decorated the small building of the 1/77th FA Battalion in Ft.Sill, OK. Black balloons, black streamers, and posters drawn by us hung in the hallways and the walls of the office of the commander. Though we didn’t know it at the time, in a little over a year, my love and appreciation for you would tested in a way I never thought was possible. I can truly say that hearing your voice answer the phone on that horrible day was a turning point in my relationship with you.
Though we’ve had our differences, to say the least, I know that God spared you for a reason. If He had taken you that day, just as he took many lives, I would not have been able to grow with you and fix our relationship to what it is now. Sure, we are not perfect now, you still lecture to me all the time, and we have our arguments, but I know how much you love me and believe in me. It is because of your love, encouragement, and support that I believed I had the smallest chance at graduate school, and so I applied. Though I did not get in, I was also sad to tell my biggest supporter who believed in my abilities more than I believed in myself that I did not obtain my ultimate goal. But today is not about me, it’s about you. We celebrate the birth of a man who became a West Point graduate, who served his country without one complaint for 27 years, and who literally had to chose from all who wanted him when looking for a job after military retirement. You are successful, smart, and an influence in my life. I love you, Dad. Have a wonderful day even though I am not there to share it with you!
Love, TBT (also JJ, TJ)