Both of my dads were veterans. My birth dad served in the islands. My stepfather—who I never ever considered a “step” anything, he was Daddy to me—served in France. Both men were in jeopardy. Both saw things that made them frightened and weary and sad. Both came home tired but ready to do what it took to make a life for themselves. Mostly that took hard work, which they knew how to do.
My birth dad married Mom and took over the raising of my two sisters, whose dad had died several years earlier. I was born a couple of years later and two years after that he was killed in a small plane crash.
Mom married Daddy a year and three months later. He took over the raising of three girls, but mostly he provided for and loved us—and put up with us—, mom did the raising.
There are only wilting flowers on graves to mark both of my dad's passing. That and the memories two of us girls have—our other sister is gone, too.
I am sad tonight, sad for my losses. But I am happy, too, because I know a bit about my first dad and I know a lot about my second one. Both had integrity. Tonight it will be enough.
I want to have integrity like my two dads—to honor them. This is the best way I know how.