“Your energy may fail you, but your soul will make you win,” means so much more when you find out my dad was a
platoon seargeant In the Marines & made it home after living one year abroad in the mud, sweat, tears and death jungle in Vietnam in the early part of the war.
I grew up hearing war stories and always touching a tiny hole in the green Marine hat my dad wore in Vietnam. My index finger could almost fit inside the inside of the hat when I was little.
“A bullet almost got me,” he would always tell to his three kids, like can you believe it?”
I will never know all that my dad lived through and honestly by the luck of the bullets made it out alive.
Christmas was a sad time for him because he lost almost all of his platoon in a big battle three days before Christmas.
Why did he get to live and all the others die? Where is there any happiness in that?
How do celebrate when you lost so much?
My dad carried on, but at Christmas time, he still is somber in the memory of his former Marines he fought beside back in 1965, those that didn’t make it home…
I always am so proud of my mother’s strength, too. She had my sister when he was away and dad saw Tracy for the first time when she was one year old.
In my eyes, my dad came home victorious. He never gave up on life hope and love & he still believed after all the evil he had seen up close and personal there was still good in the world.
I am teary eyed when I think of my dad at Christmas. He always remembers those he knew, fought next to and retreats into a space where he remembers with deep longing and sadness for his platoon members that died that year before Christmas.
I am sorry dad if I couldn’t comprehend your grief as a child. Thank you for being a strong and loving parent, and for setting an example of what true compassion and humility is about. I am honored to be your daughter.
So this quote carries the deepest of meanings:
Life is tough
Loved ones can die
Bullets can fly
But never let the meanness of any circumstance defeat your spirit!
There is more to live for. There is good left in this world.
Thank you dad for making me a ‘fighter of sorts’ that just went for gusto because of the gumption you and mom taught me at an early age.
I am blessed to be the daughter of a ROCK STAR VIETNAM VETERAN that shaped my life with dignity, hope and the courage to never give up on my dreams.
I had a great role model. Thank you Dad.