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.