This is one of my favorite photographs of my Dad. I think this was when he was at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, right after he enlisted. So he would have been about 17 or 18 here.
Isn't he simply precious looking? (I know, he'd probably say something smart to me about calling him "precious", but to me he is here!)
Daddy was in the Navy for 22 years.
He and Mommy met when he was stationed in San Francisco (she was a WAC!) and she was stationed at the Presidio. He was 21 and she was 20. They were married in December after a proper courtship! A dear friend introduced them to one another. I love her today so much! Without her I might not be here now! (Betty, you know I love you!!!)
Daddy was a Machinist Mate 1st Class. But he could do so much more! When he retired from the Navy, he didn't really retire. Instead, he embarked on a second career, from which he retired from as well.
He kept that svelte figure you see in the photograph until he retired from the Navy. Then he went from his 28-inch waist, to a whopping 30-inches! (I love to pick on him!) Daddy you'll never fit in that 30-inch belt ever again!
He retired from the Navy in June of 1976. I attended his retirement ceremony. I don't think I've ever been prouder of anyone than I am of my Daddy!
I am proud of all of our service men and women. But the Navy holds a special place in my heart, because I grew up Navy.
So, for all you Navy brats that I grew up with, do you ever tell your Dad's how proud of them you are?
I still get choked up when the National Anthem plays. I still put my hand over my heart and come to a standing attention when the flag is flown in parades. I still take my flag down at night. It never touches the ground. I can't look at the flag and not see the precious blood that was spilt so that I could go to bed at night a free woman. I can't look and not see those men and women who will never come home again.
I can't begin to tell you the nights, (over 16 years of nights) my Mommy had us on our knees praying for my Daddy's safe return. And knowing that if Daddy came back, there was some little girl somewhere in the US that her Daddy wasn't coming home.
Yes, I'm proud of my Daddy. And I will defend the rights of our veterans with my dying breath if need be. We should all strive for service to God, and service to Country. Without either life is not worth living.
I love you Daddy!