1/28 Prompt

Q: Is there anyone in your family who was or is currently in the military? Tell us about them.

My dad was in the military, in the Army actually. He didn’t tour in Vietnam, Korea or the Middle East.

He trained.

He used to tell us stories of his time in Germany, of driving on the autobahn, of how early they’d get up for drills. Once he was telling us of when they had to pitch tents for something and they dug trenches around their tents so the tents wouldn’t flood.

Never thought of digging a trench around a tent before then but, I must say, it’s a great idea!

He still has his uniform, trunk and duffel bag. He still has the army poncho issued to him. I think he still has his dog tags too.

As a little girl, I was in awe of my dad’s army stories. It could be because, in part, he was still very military in raising four kids. Short of saying, “Sir, yes, sir!” for everything he told us to do, he was tough on us. I was, still is, disciplined.

He taught us not to eat with our elbows on the table, how to hold a fork and knife. I think that comes from his time in Germany, lol. Proper etiquette and all. He used to tie the strings for the drapes and blinds in these crazy knots. I remember once trying to undo and then retying the knots. Ummm… Yeah… They weren’t as good as my dad’s!

Once upon a long time ago, before I grew up and got an injury in PE, I dreamed of going into the military. There’s that saying, “Like mother, like daughter.” While I love my mom and have a good laugh when people tell me I look like and sound like her, my dad’s army stories led to my wanting to be in the military.

Sadly, I never enlisted. Maybe if I’d never been injured I would have. I don’t know.

I’m happy where my life is though, so I don’t regret not enlisting. I’m still fascinated with the military. I like to follow up on news stories about the current war. I also like books and news clippings on wars of the past. Military gear still amazes me (seriously, how do you WALK with so much stuff on your back???) and when I hear or read of a soldier who has died, I feel a deep sense of loss for a strange reason.

So, for my dad: you can take the man out of the military, but you can’t take the military out of the man.


(Originally posted here)


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