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A Real American Hero

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So really, I’m just dedicating this post to anyone who knows or loves somebody who’s putting their lives in service of this country.

Yesterday afternoon when I was going through some old clothes from previous years I came across a pair of olive pants that I used to wear during my freshman year at Germanna. I put them on and then slipped on my Timberland boots. I immediately had a flashback to this morning when I was little and I woke up early one morning.

This event happened over a decade ago. My dad was in the Marine Corps. We lived in a small house on base housing and really didn’t have much besides the clothes on our backs and a meal to put in our stomachs. Being enlisted must have been really tough for my dad because he was never home and even though I wanted him to be there, I was kind of proud of his job. I woke up one morning. It was like 5am and I saw my dad finishing up his camo uniform. The room was dimly lit and smelt of ironing starch. My dad was bent over on a chair in the morning fiddling with an elastic band that went around his camo fatigues. It’s kind of like a scrunchie that marines used to make sure that their pants stood fast to their boots so that stuff like grass and debris won’t ride up the pants and injure their legs, or at least that’s the explanation he told me when I was older. I asked him what he was doing up so early, and he said that he had to go to work. He was a lot more expressive than he is now. I remember him giving me a smile and rubbing my head before he went through the door. I remember not wanting him to leave because he wasn’t going to be back until after I was asleep. I remember how it was then and how it is now.

Truth is, he really did leave to fight bad guys. Back then, he felt like a super hero. Today, he’s my mentor and inspiration.
It’s really hard for men and women of service to leave behind their families and loved ones. I experienced it from the family’s point of view, and I really am proud of people brave enough to enlist.
So tonight, while I take off my Timberland combat boots, I do so with a sense of nostalgia because they look a lot like the standard issue military boots my dad had as part of his uniform.

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