I met my little Granddaughter, Lavinnia, she is such a precious child. Holding her was, sort of, different. She is so sweet, but I did not have to change one poopy or wet diaper, I let Austin and Erin do that. I review my life and think of how blessed I am. Many people never get the chance to feel these emotions. I left that little family with a tear in one eye and a twinkle in the other. One leg was dragging behind while the other leg pulled me towards the ticket counter. The tears fell because I had to leave them in Texas while not knowing when I will see them again and for other reasons I will write about later. The twinkle, because they are doing OK, they have a home, job, and most importantly air conditioning. The leg drug because I wanted another moment to look at that new family and ponder what challenges and blessings awaits them on their course in this life. The other leg was looking forward to seeing and holding those that are at home waiting for me to be a husband and a father. Life is not about having it all, it is about, I do not know, but I am finding joy in figuring it out.
Joy is not fleeting. However, its ingredients have a not so funny way of dragging you through unhappy times and then through wonderful moments. This week was a mixture of all the ingredients plus the others that make it a complete recipe.
As I ponder that statement my mind looks back at my oldest son, I cannot stop thinking about the man he has become. How can I find joy in the fact that he is going into harm’s way? There is absolutely no happiness in that thought, but the pride and joy is immeasurable. He is a soldier in the US Army. I am a veteran of the US Air Force. Today, my blood runs Army green. Today, my heart is bursting with pride, as I write; I am a father of a soldier that defends the right for me to live in freedom. He is willing to leave behind those that he loves, for more than a year, and is willing to have his blood stain the ground, in a country so far away from the borders of his home. What kind of man does that? My son is one of the men and women that choose to put on that uniform with the colors of red, white and blue on its sleeve. A country that stands for freedom and that is why they go.
So is there any question of why the tears flowed from the eye of sadness? There should be no doubt as to why the twinkle in my eye is shining with the pride of a father that sees a boy become a man in a drastic way. Body armor sits on his floor as he awaits his call to duty in just a couple of weeks. His dear wife and sweet little baby sit with the anticipation of him having to don the battle uniform. Why do they do it? It is for freedom! It is for me! It is for the cause of freedom and for the prior warriors that paved the way to building this Nation. God Bless you, Austin, Erin and Lavinnia, and God Bless the USA.
Mr. and Mrs. Politician please do not let the potential blood of my son stain you as you pull away from what makes this country great. Before you vote for one more bill that puts my children and grandchild in further debt, before you take one more step to government control over more aspects of our lives, think about the sacrifice you are making my and many other families face. My opinion is that the blood that stains the ground in fights for freedom will stain your eternal life if you continue this push from the ideals of this free nation.