Friday, November 11, 2016
Today is a day to show gratitude to the many veterans, both living and dead, who sacrificed to give us our American freedoms and rights. I thank you one and all.
But I must confess, one veteran holds top place in my heart. He was called Chief Warrant Officer Tippett. I called him Dad.
He taught me respect. Naval officers don't move through ranks from enlisted to officer without that. They don't have to agree with their superiors but must respect the authority of the position. I learned to respect him and Mama at home. That translated into honoring God as my ultimate authority.
He taught me loyalty. Dad modeled loyalty not only to the Navy but to all military branches and America. I remember him often saying, "We're not a perfect nation but we ARE the best nation in the world." He's still right on that. The land of the free is still where refugees long to come. That translated into loyalty to my family, my church and my friends. In the Christian walk, we call it faithfulness.
He taught me to grow in education and learning. That's how one moves through the various military ranks, by study and hard work. As his children, Bert, Ricky and I were the first generation to finish college or go on to graduate degrees. He modeled Christ who also "grew in wisdom and knowledge."
He taught me a strong work ethic. He didn't need someone watching over him to do the job right nor to complete it. We learned that at home with chores. As adults it translated into working "as unto the Lord" not merely giving eye service to our bosses.
He taught me honesty. Dad served in various areas of food service. Sometimes it was in the commissary other times in the mess hall. He was not a cook but was over many who did cook. Taking home leftovers was NEVER an option for him, although some in service did steal. Mama said, "Your daddy wouldn't even take home a paper clip or military ballpoint pen!" That translated into telling the truth, owning our mistakes in little and big things. Integrity mattered.
Today I salute and honor our American veterans in appreciation. Today I wish I could hug that one special vet and say, "Thank you, Daddy, for serving us, our nation and God."
Do you think they read blogs in heaven?