Below is a sketch my father did back in 1984. He spent almost three decades in the Army and was deployed a number of times to Korea during his earliest years… Germany (which we all went together during my first years on earth)… and several tours to the Middle East. Last year, I started doing family story sessions with my mother and father. I don’t have the details on this sketch or several others that I saved from his early years in the Army. For upcoming June, I’ll focus the next family story session around my father’s sketches. This weekend he’s been watching some of the coverage for Memorial Day and took some time to visit base on his bike runs.
I’m sharing this sketch for Memorial Day and for all the families that experience the challenge of deployment, especially for mothers or fathers back home keeping things together while their spouses are called to duty. Back when my Dad got deployed in the early 90s, I remember thinking selfishly how that meant I could get over on Mom and stay out later to play with friends now that Dad wasn’t around to enforce the curfew. But I tell you what, that feeling got old quick missing your father’s presence and there was no moment greater than the day we’d learn our Dad would be returning back home safe and sound.
I’ve always loved this sketch and appreciate my Dad’s creativity very much. Whether it was for all the help he gave us for science projects, or the custom made birthday cards he’d send us from his times deployed, his cooking, the martial arts, his love for basketball and other sports, his love for music… he encompassed a lot of great qualities, which really shined bright through all the success he had in the Army. There are a lot of lessons I still process til’ this day from my upbringing.
To my mother and father, thank you.