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Posted on 2007.07.25 at 13:05
Current Location: 75070
Current Music: Firefly & Serenity scores
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Basic Military Training Squadron 3704, Flight 1741. January 1963. Fourth one from the right, second row from the top. Yeah, that's my dad.

I belong to the 497th RTG mailing list. I was stationed in Weisbaden, Germany for nearly the entirety of 1991. Someone posted a link to the BMT Archives there. I was in Germany because my father was in Germany. He was stationed at Sembach, Air Base, just down the road. I was in the Air Force because he was in the Air Force. Not that he ever pressured me to join, or because he wanted me to join. Just because he was my dad, and I wanted to do what he'd done.

I'd never seen the man write a letter the entire time I was growing up. He wrote me every single day the first three years I was in. Unthinkable.

He's always been supportive. Always. Even as I became an adult.

When I had a child of my own, I had an odd experience one day. We were visiting a friend and he let his dog, a miniature pincer out. This dog was a small bundle of energy and excitement! It came running at my son (18-months at the time) full-tilt. The boy reacted in a way I'd never seen and I felt an overwhelming paternal desire to protect him, at all costs. This was a new feeling for me, and later I called my own father to discuss it. "When does the primal reaction of defending your son lessen?" I asked him.

"Never." He replied.

Thanks Dad, for everything, for always.


galinda822 at 2007-07-25 18:11 (UTC) (Link)
What a lovely post! It's a wonderful thing to honor loved ones while they're still here.
I'm sure he'll love it.
ehowton at 2007-07-25 18:54 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you ma'am, and I hope so!
wardlejew at 2007-07-25 19:42 (UTC) (Link)
Great Post! Sounds like you have an awesome Dad, and I can tell from this post and previous posts, you are an incredible dad yourself!

Defending your son(s). Yep the trick is to know when to let them learn on their own, and to still be there for them when they mess up. I have a hard time letting my boys learn the hard way!

Fortunately, I still have an awesome dad I can go to for advice, though I may choose a different path. One of my major goals in life is to have my boys look up to me like I look up to my dad.
ehowton at 2007-07-25 21:14 (UTC) (Link)
I think, as fathers, its what we all want. I wish I had more time to instruct my son of the ways of the world - to prepare him. Alas, a working man's downfall. Besides, there'll come a time he stops listening, for a period of time anyway.

One of my favorite quotes about dads comes from Mark Twain:

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned."
photogoot at 2007-07-26 02:13 (UTC) (Link)
And when you returned he tried to make you enough food for every day you had been gone. Unimaginable, if I had not witnessed it myself! :-) I like your dad because he reminded me of my dad.
ehowton at 2007-07-26 02:32 (UTC) (Link)
I think our respective father's would have gotten along well together.
codekitten at 2007-07-26 14:51 (UTC) (Link)

oh and thanks for making me cry at work. i'm supposed to be badass here :P
ehowton at 2007-07-26 16:03 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you ma'am.

Tell them your tears were an aggressive response to wanting to choke the ever-living shit out of someone - that'll put things back in their right perspective ;)
snapper521 at 2007-07-26 22:56 (UTC) (Link)


I think I missed something Eric. :-(

Did he die or something?? *totally confused look* Or was this just one of those sentimental posts which happen sometimes for no real reason other then because you can?
ehowton at 2007-07-27 04:09 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Dad

I found a picture of him online he probably hadn't seen in nearly 40 years from an overseas mailing list I belong to.
snapper521 at 2007-08-05 01:53 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Dad

Oh. *think think* Well thats pretty kool. :-D
jaceman at 2007-07-27 14:40 (UTC) (Link)
If I may, what prompted this post? Was it a just because? Special event? Tragedy?
ehowton at 2007-07-27 14:52 (UTC) (Link)
Because I found a picture of him online he probably hadn't seen in nearly 40 years from an overseas mailing list I belong to.
jaceman at 2007-07-27 15:03 (UTC) (Link)
Aye! I thought you just selected the picture and began writing; I didn't know that finding the picture WAS the purpose for the writing. Gotcha now!
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2007-07-29 04:32 (UTC) (Link)
Your dad is cool even though he plays with his balls all the time!!!!
ehowton at 2007-07-29 06:29 (UTC) (Link)
Del: You play with your balls a lot.
Neal: I do NOT play with my balls.
Del: Larry Bird doesn't do as much ball-handling in one night as you do in an hour!
Neal: Are you trying to start a fight?
Del: No. I'm simply stating a fact. That's all. You fidget with your nuts a lot.
Neal: You know what'd make me happy?
Del: Another couple of balls, and an extra set of fingers?
(Anonymous) at 2012-10-18 18:45 (UTC) (Link)

I Posted This Basic Training Picture

I must have known your dad. I am the one who originally posted this flight picture on the Air Force BMT page. That was my flight in December 62-Jan 63. Email me at A3780@ (no spam) Insightbb.com
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