• When I was a child, I looked to my dad
    I wanted to be like him and do everything that he had
    For he served the country, the people, the States
    Honor and valor were just a few of his traits
    He marched into war with his head held up high
    Refusing to back down, refusing to die
    Across jungle and desert and ocean he went
    Showing to others what freedom truly meant
    Ten long years later he came home at last
    Tired from marching and fighting wars so vast
    Yet the neighbors said nothing, not one word of thanks
    No others considered how he climbed through the ranks
    I was so angry, so hurt, and so sad
    Why didn’t anyone stop and thank my dad?

    Now I am grown, I have a family too
    A wife and two children, ages five and two
    I went off to war to protect those tiny lives
    I learned how to kill with guns, fists, and with knives
    I marched through the wind, the rain, and the sun
    Till I could only pray for this war to be done
    Surrounded by others, yet not daring to get close
    Never knowing who death would pick, like the others he chose
    It was then that I realized what my dad must have thought
    Alone yet not in the war that he fought
    Fury welled up inside of my heart
    As I remembered his thanks for doing his part
    How he was forgotten, with none knowing his deeds
    How he planted thousands of little hope filled seeds

    Finally I am home with my wife and my sons
    Basking in their love which shines like ten thousand suns
    As I watch them grow, I realize the truth
    To the question that’s been gnawing at me since my youth
    Why did my dad never seek recognition?
    He fought and he bled for another man’s vision
    Looking into my family's eyes, I now see what I did not
    Love, joy, peace, and safety – all because I once fought
    Knowing my family is safe because of me
    Is what my father felt when our country was free
    The peace and joy I felt when I realized this fact
    Is the final piece to the puzzle which till now I had lacked
    I went to my father and looked at his face
    He smiled softly and said, “Now you understand how I felt about my place.”