Father’s who wear the uniform are a special breed. In my opinion, they set an example simply by showing their kids the true meaning of service, pride, dedication, and patriotism. When I see dads in uniform standing beside their kids in uniform, I have a hard time keeping my emotions in check.
My husband’s grandfather fought in the Second World War. We believe he came home to battle Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We aren’t sure because he disassociated himself from the family, including his infant son, and eventually simply became unmentionable and invisible.
Yet, his son grew up, joined the Canadian Armed Forces, married a lovely girl from Prince Edward Island and had three children. Eventually, the son learned what PTSD is and how ugly it can be, and he learned what his father must have faced. He struggled to parent his children because he didn’t have the benefit of a dad showing him the ropes, but he was intelligent and strong and did the best he could.
The oldest of those three children, my husband, followed his grandfather and father’s footsteps and joined the CAF too. Now we have three children. He does everything he can to compartmentalize his work and his home life so that when he’s spending time with the kids he is actually present in the moment with them. He tries not to let certain parts of his job touch them.
But that’s not really possible is it? Our family is defined by the military. We are what and who we are because of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Our oldest son already wears a Cadet uniform and has every intention of attending RMC when he graduates. That’s four generations. (I haven’t explored to see if there were more, but I wouldn’t be surprised.)
So, this is why tears fall when I see fathers and their children in uniform. I empathize with those families. There is a story behind those generations of service, often beautiful, sometimes painful, but always inspirational.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there who have ever worn the uniform. Thanks for all the sacrifices you make and thanks for being a great example for the next generation of members of the Canadian Armed Forces.