Here’s the thing…I was born into legacy.

I wasn’t even a thought in the womb at the time, but I am the daughter of a Marine.

My dad doesn’t talk about it, but we all know.  We know that he devoted years to service right out of high school.   We know he walked the beaches of Cuba and saw the Rock of Gibraltar.  He saw the ruins in Greece and Fidel Castro through a fence that you could barely call a barrier.

Yes, I am the daughter of one of the few, the proud.  He has seen more in his lifetime than I ever will in mine.  For those who think they know my dad and question his homebody happiness on the farm, you don’t know the half of it.  If you think he’s strange and quiet because he prefers being surrounded by cows and wheat fields instead of tarmacs and skyscrapers, well, then I suppose you don’t really know him at all.  

His quiet speaks volumes if you listen.

I don’t suppose any of us civilians will ever really understand what he experienced during his service, but if it made him want to spend all the rest of his days in the peaceful, Kansas countryside, then he deserves to.

Yes, I’m the daughter of a Marine, but more than that, I’m the daughter of a hard working, freedom seeking, Kansas farmer.

I am privileged enough to say that I’m the daughter of someone who served, but I’m humbled more and more every year by the fact that I am privileged enough to say that I’m the daughter of my hero.

When you grow up on a farm, there are certain things in life you take for granted.  The sunset, the blowing wheat fields in the month of May, muddy dirt roads after a hard rain, and your dad who is always there despite what life and Mother Nature can throw at you.  

Stuck in a dirt road ditch because the mud was too deep?  Dad.  Empty seat on the local school board? Dad.  Early morning or late night event you need a ride to?  Dad.  

I’m not just the daughter of a Marine, I’m the daughter of one of the best.  The best dad, the best basketball cheerleader, the best mud plower after a wet, icy December storm.  

I’m quite sure that my dad would have been the amazing father he was to me regardless of his military service, but there’s something about those who have served.

They see the world a little differently.  They stand a little straighter, and they work a whole lot harder.

My dad has never been one to shy away from work.  It didn’t matter if it was pulling a calf in the dead of winter or driving the combine in the windy, oven like temperatures of a Kansas summer.  He was there.  He was working.  You wouldn’t find a complaint within earshot of him either.

Maybe everything he saw during those military days are things he wishes to forget, or maybe they are things he hopes never to forget.  Maybe those things are what drives him to be the best.  Maybe those things are now woven through his being and the peace he finds on the farm reminds him why he served.

What I know for sure is that I’m thankful for his service not just on Veterans Day, but everyday, and I’m grateful for the example in life he’s set.

Be grateful (for veterans and active military), water your own grass,

…and drink coffee.

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    1. I had tears reading this. “His quiet speaks volumes if you listen.” This is such a true statement and resonates with me. Thank you for putting your thoughts in writing! ❤️

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