Dad turned 92 this week. That’s a milestone in any book, but especially for my dad. He has been my prayer warrior, mentor and inspiration. (I have to say those things because he reads my blog and then shoots me an email to point out my misspellings.) I’m not kidding about the email, but the rest is true.
I’m dedicating this post to my Dad. In my eyes, he deserves every honor. He joined the army air corps, was a pilot of a B-17, and flew more than 30 missions over Germany. The next war he participated in was “The Forgotten War”. In Korea, he was an artillery officer with the Howitzer division. Before he deployed, he married my mom and never missed a day writing a letter to her while he was in Korea.
The last war he was involved in was the Vietnam War. This war changed my life. He made it through six months of his tour before a sniper shot him in the back of the neck. The bullet ricocheted around his mouth exiting on the left side, below the eye. By a fraction of an inch, it missed his brain, spinal cord, and jugular vein. Any one of those would have killed or paralyzed him. It was a Miracle.
I was starting the eighth grade when they air-evaced him to Fitzsimmons Hospital in Denver Colorado. For the first year, he was a full time resident in the hospital with no weekend passes. Every day after school, I walked to the hospital to sit with him while my mom worked in the Medical Photo Lab downstairs. Most afternoons he tutored me in math, which was my worst subject.
It would take too long to describe all his medical issues, and the thirty major operations he had to endure to mend the damages. It was amazing what plastic surgeons could accomplish back in the late 60’s, but some damages couldn’t be repaired. Through three long years of surgeries, my dad’s attitude was exemplary. I never saw him depressed; if he was, he kept it well hidden. His looks never stopped him from venturing out in public, even with the stares of people passing by. While he was in the hospital, between surgeries, he took computer-programming classes and received a degree. After he retired he went to work for MDonnell-Douglas.
Today at 92, he still writes stories, works on crossword puzzles, reads and knits hats. He has knitted over 400 hats in one year, for missions in Peru. He inputs data in the church computer and is teaching a friend to paint. I can depend on him to pray for my family and me every day and anytime I need a word of encouragement he is only a phone call away.
Thank you Dad for demonstrating the attributes of a Christian and training me in the way I should go so that when I am old I will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6