I'm sure that every daughter thinks her daddy is the best one ever, but I'm sure that mine actually is. Ever since I was little my dad has been my hero. He's been the one to save my barbie doll from behind the couch when I thought she was lost forever. He's been the one to help me pull out that one baby tooth that was just a little too scary to touch. He's been the one to guide me through getting up on skis and then guide me through dropping a ski when everyone else thought I was too little to try. He's been the one to give me hugs every night and tell me how special I am and that I'm loved. He's the greatest dad and greatest example of hard work and selfless giving.
As I've gotten older I've started to realize even more how great my dad really is. Some of those realizations have occurred just since being out in DC. The other day when I had extra time at work I randomly decided to search for the award my dad received in Vietnam. I guess DoD has rubbed off on me and being around all those military people made me curious about this award that I've never really known that much about. My dad was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He saved people's lives when he wasn't asked to. He told me recently that "that's just what you do," I think I replied "yeah, but you didn't have to and that's what makes you so special." The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded based on this criteria: "The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the United States, distinguishes himself or herself by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. The performance of the act of heroism must be evidenced by voluntary action above and beyond the call of duty. The extraordinary achievement must have resulted in an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from his/her comrades or from other persons in similar circumstances. Awards will be made only to recognize single acts of heroism or extraordinary achievement and will not be made in recognition of sustained operational activities against an armed enemy." It's the 6th highest award that anyone can get in the armed forces and the highest award for flying. Here's the military website that talks about the awards, and has them in order of precedence. My dad is a real hero - not just to me but to people who's lives he's saved.
This past week my mom and dad came to the Pentagon for a tour. I loved walking from the Pentagon City Mall through the tunnel over to the Pentagon with both my mom and dad in tow. I love how every serviceman we passed nodded and smiled at my dad in his Vietnam Vet Vest. I'm so proud to have such an amazing father who was so willing to serve his country. He's a hero.
My dad has saved my barbies, been awarded because of his valor, and been an amazing example. He's shown me an example of hard work, giving, and love. I've heard the quote that "when Joe has money, everyone has money." (I'm sure that I completely misquoted it but that's the jist). What an amazing compliment to the character of giving a person can have. He's always been generous with his time and money. He's also shown me how important it is to let people know they're loved. When he was in the bishopric he was always the member that gave out the hugs. I think he has a real gift for making people feel at ease, feel special, and feel loved. I know he's always done it for me.
I'm so grateful for my dad. He taught me in junior high or middle school to always say "my daddy is the only one for me" and even though I have a new "one for me," he'll always be my hero. I love you daddy.