My Pop has many loves in his life...But mainly a good foot massage and the Florida Gators...and my momma. He definitely loves my momma.
As a little girl I used to style his hair with various kitchen utensils, to portray the different boys in my elementary school class. “This is how Kyle does his hair. And Michael does his this way. …I don’t like Ryan, but his hair looks like this.” All said while mindless interrupting a football game, Nascar, or occasionally an episode of ‘Tales from the Crypt’. But he didn't mind. I remember once as my pop sat in his lounge chair as I played with his hair from behind, I found a hard solid knot directly on the top of his head. “That’s a bullet.” He said. “...got shot in Vietnam, and the bullet is still in my head. Now you can feel it trying to get out.” Without concern I continued with his next modern day hair style, not blinking an eye.
It seems like every morning I would watch my Pop get ready for work. He’d have on his underwear, T-shirt, and black socks. Then he would put on his slacks. He would do up his zipper, button, and belt. Put on his white collared shirt. Button it up. Undo his zipper, button and belt on his pants, tuck in his shirt, and re-do the pants process. To this day, this is how I get dressed in the morning.
I learned to count backwards from crawling up in bed with my Pop and watching a boxing match. I picked who I wanted to win by the color of their shorts. He always picked the opposite. We waited and as soon as the time clock appeared on the bottom of the screen, we started the countdown to victory.
The memories go on and on. Countless thoughts run through my mind of my family .
I learned a lot of things from my Pop, not from words, but from examples and actions. I have never looked at a man and felt more honor, respect, and integrity. Never have I seen more honesty, devotion, and appreciation than I do in him. Not because he demands it, but because he has earned it. My Pop is the definition of the timeless rags to riches story on so many levels. He has made mistakes but has devoted his life to learning from them, and growing to be a better person. I wish every little girl could grow up looking at her Pop the way that I do mine.
With Veteran’s Day around the corner, I know he will never expect the praises he deserves. He will probably brush this off as another day off of work to get chores done. But he did something so great for not only our country, but for the world. Down play it all you want, but my Pop is a hero. Not just because of his service in the military, but because of his service to our family.