October 20, 2013

Just One of Millions

Over the last few weeks I discovered something pretty important. 

Regardless of how strong we think someone is, and how much love you have for someone, they can get sick. Never in a million years did I ever think my dad would be diagnosed with Cancer. 

Pretty foolish huh? 

Especially when I stop and think about my dad's background. Many of you know my dad is former military. My dad served honorably as a Staff Sargent with the 56th Field Artillery Unit in Germany until the world seen the end of the Pershing Missile. 

More important was the role he played in helping guys who were in trouble and were looking at a life outside the military if they couldn't "shape up and fly right." 

Enter my dad. 

My dad cleaned these guys up gave them the guidance, and in some cases the kick in the butt they needed, in order to stay in the Pershing Unit. For some of these guys, my dad, was their last chance for having a military career. I lived with him and my step mom for almost 2 years in Germany (toward the end of my high school years). So, I had a front row seat, to the impending festivities. 

You know all those military movies with the Sargent and bags of toothbrushes? It's true. I seen my dad bring home more than one brown paper bag filled with toothbrushes, from the commissary, for an early morning floor scrubbing. Which usually took place bright and early Saturday when hangovers are at their worst. 

These men could have hated my dad. 

But none of them did in the end. I'm sure they didn't like him much when they first met him though.

Don't think for a second I was special. I was served with more than one 5 a.m. wake up call from the SSGT banging on my bedroom door, yelling about daylight that was burning, and a threat to turn my mattress over.  

I would like to think he wouldn't do that to his own daughter but, I am pretty sure, he would have. 

I have always been very proud of my dad and his service to our country. My dad even served before I was born, in Thailand. He doesn't discuss his time in Thailand much, but he does tell a story about why he refuses to wear a wedding ring, a deuce and a half, and the sniper that almost took him out.   

I have always thought of my dad as a hero. I felt my dad was serving an even greater cause - keeping his country safe. I had to come up with something to justify his being gone. 

I never thought anything could touch him. I told myself, as a child, when he gets done keeping us all safe he will come home and life will always be good. You see, in my mind, I let the U.S. Government borrow my dad for a short time. 

I would love to tell you all the stories about my dad, before his military service. The stories his childhood friend told me. True, "Dukes of Hazzard," stuff in the corn fields and back roads of Iowa that lead to his first enrollment in the U.S. Army. Back in the day when parents could march their kids down to the local recruiter. Stories I was never supposed to hear. You would truly get a kick out of those stories. 

But, I promised him I would keep those to myself. 

Well, as many of you know my dad was diagnosed with Cancer. We found out on the 15th he has Stage 2 Large Cell Neuro Endocrine Carcinoma. It's a rare form of Cancer. This is not the first time Cancer has touched our family. We have lost many loved ones to this horrible disease. 

How is my dad holding up? 

While he may not be a U.S Military man anymore, he is still an Army Staff Sargent at heart and in thought. He is attacking this, just as he would any other hurdle in life - straight on and with more fight than I could possibly muster. He knows this will be a battle, but he has faced many. 

I still admire his strength and courage. He gives me every reason to. If at some point he can't find the strength, I will help him, along with the rest of our family. While I am back home in Ohio now, I will be returning to Iowa after the first of the year, when my dad has surgery, which of course depends on the outcome of more tests. 

There are so many unknowns when it comes to this. We are only a few weeks into it and already we have been dealing with the sting of little to no information. 

So, why do I bring this up on a blog site that focuses on Bigfoot? 

Because first and foremost we are people. 

I started out this blog site discussing the stories of others. I never really talk about my family, myself or my life much. There are really very few in this community who can really say they know me as a person and not the "Bigfoot hunter." 

We know very little about each other. Other than what we hear.  

I have always said that. It's something we do not recognize often enough. But, at the end of the day, we are all people, who want the same things. 

At least I hope we do. 

There is no larger purpose for this article. I have no intention of lecturing about Cancer and the millions of things that can cause it. I am not going to tell people to hug their children or tell their families how much they are loved. 

I am assuming you all - already have. 

This story of Cancer is one of millions. But, this one story, is my Dad. 



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