(Keith is on the left with his arms folded)
My father was a soldier. I had always known that from the time I was young. I had always known that he fought in Vietnam, and I had seen the shrapnel wounds on his legs. When he spoke of things that happened there, he was always very aware that it was a difficult war, but he didn’t use it as a crutch. He should have won a medal. There should have been welcome home parades. But he didn’t, and there weren’t. He never complained. He was very proud to have served as an American soldier. He demonstrated that love his entire life.
Freedom isn’t free. He knew that. He fought for it. No war is perfect or pretty. He knew that too. But he did what he had to, and he fought with honor and a love for his family and country—and freedom.
My father was a soldier. Not only in the war, but in life. He was always fighting a battle with adversities and with his health, but he never backed down. He never hid himself away and said it was too hard. He never complained. He always carried himself with a smile on his face and determination to get the job done. He did his best to be there when people needed him, and he refused to say ‘never’ or ‘can’t’. Those words weren’t in his vocabulary.
My father was a soldier. And I am proud of him. I always will be.
Thank you, dad…for leaving such an amazing legacy.
Love your daughter, Melissa
To learn more about the division my father fought in, please see the documentary ‘Shakey’s Hill’. You can see my dad in a few of the film clips. It shares an amazing view of the soldiers and brotherhood in Vietnam.