A Tribute To My Dad This Veteran's Day

My Dad

My dad, the inspiration behind my series Big Nam.
My dad, the inspiration behind my series Big Nam. | Source

What to write?

It is 11:11 pm on 11/11/11. I have sat here most of the day thinking of what to write in honor of Veteran's Day. I have plenty to be grateful for, but for the most part, all I could think of was my dad and the stories he has shared.

I browse through a few hubs before coming across a poem by Vincent Moore. It is about a father's lost relationship with his family. It makes me think of my dad.

I come across another fellow hubber, named Ahorseback. His poem is about a father's love for his daughter. I, again, think of my dad.

I remember that this time last year, I took my daughter to interview my dad for a school paper. I re-read the hub I posted of the paper she wrote. All the while thinking of my dad.

My dad served his time in the Vietnam War. He was a vet that had seen a lot, experienced a lot, and shared a lot. Unfortunately, many vets of his time, still aren't getting the attention that others -who have served -have received.

So, this brings me to where I am now. Staring at a blank page, thinking of my dad, and wondering what interesting thing I could write.

Source

My dad...aka...Big Nam.

I write this piece as a tribute to my dad. The character behind my Big Nam series.

I chuckle as I think of Dad's booming voice echoing through whatever room he was in. He usually could be found telling a story. Most of those stories dealt with something he recently seen or did. Those in the audience would be hanging on to his every word, not sure if what he had to say was make-believe, or real.

I remember as a child sitting next to his knee anxiously awaiting for the next story. From the pranks he pulled on his brother and sisters- to what he had seen in the war- there never seemed to be a dull moment in Dad's life. Everything he did, turned into an adventure, which was weaved into a tale.

He has tried his best to be a loving father. He worked hard to supply us with what we needed, but at the same time, tried to teach us to work for what we wanted. He could be extremely critical and harsh, but as an adult now, I can see it was out of love that he taught us those hard lessons that we needed to learn.

Respect, in his book, was to be earned, not handed out freely, or to be taken advantage of.

He tried to teach my siblings and I that there was something special about doing things for yourself, even if you were doing it wrong. He has been our guide, our critic, our friend. We could fight like cats and dogs, but if someone was to step on one of us, we were to gang together to fight for each other. That motto has stuck to this day. (I can guarantee we still fight like cats and dogs.)

One of the most important lessons I have carried with me to this day has been never to take anything for granted. You could have it one day and it could be gone the next. You would never go hungry, as long as you knew how to shoot a gun.

My dad couldn't leave the Vietnam War behind him. He is a firm believer in being prepared for anything. I grew up listening to him tell us to never think wars couldn't happen on our soil. We would be fools to believe otherwise. To him, it was never a matter if war came to our home turf, but when it came. We needed to know how to defend ourselves and our families. If we were drafted into the war, like he was, we needed to know what was expected of us.

Moments with Dad weren't always about doom and gloom. Most of the time he was telling his friends one crazy stunt or another he had done. It is those stories that inspired me to begin my series.

Thank You...

I would like to give thanks to my cousin, for the hilarious story she told me one early morning over a cup of coffee. It was the one to spark the beginning. (The Adventures of Big Nam: The Lawnmower Adventure.)

I would like to thank my son for coming up with Big Nam's name. When I asked my son how it was he came up with it, all he could say, with a grin on his face, was “Grandpa's a big boy that served in the war.”

I would like to thank my husband for encouraging me to keep writing.

To my mom, thank you for your support and ideas.

To my dad, I would like to say, thank you. Your journey and stories have been an inspiration. Life isn't always easy, but you have done the best you could. It is with love that I share these stories, so the next generation can pass them on too.

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Comments 49 comments

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

A beautiful tribute to your dad. He sounds a lot like my husband. Always an exciting story to tell.


"Quill Again" 4 years ago

Morning tlpoague... heart warming tribute to a man who's love shines through your words. THank you as always...

Blessings and Special Hugs


NeighborLady 4 years ago

This is the first blog of yours I have read and I must say that I am very impressed! It was a nice and fitting tribute to your Dad and I like how you told it like it is. You honored him but allowed the reader to see a side of him that wasn't always glamerous, you made him real in our eyes! Thank you for posting it to FB or I might never have ventured to your blog pages. Hey and you've been a stranger long enough, come say hi. Take care and again, great story!


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thank you Becky, I will miss hearing those stories when he is gone, but for now, I am enjoying racking them up in a notebook.

Thank you Quill, I am glad you have enjoyed them. Dad has some pretty outlandish moments that keep up laughing.

Thanks NeighborLady, I will have to visit again as soon as things slow down again. Keep the coffee going!


mljdgulley354 profile image

mljdgulley354 4 years ago

Great hub, daughter! I am really glad you are writing these stories. I believe they truly will be appreciated by our family


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Mom,

It has been fun writing them and surfing through the memories. There are stories my kids are telling about Big Nam that I didn't remember. It is a great feeling to be able to pass them on.


Norm Myrick 4 years ago

Crazy thing is that I was there and know these stories to be true. Tell your Dad I said HI. Be catching up with him some day soon.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

This was fun to read and i sensed the admiration you feel for your Father. I know quite a few Nam vets. and they all have wonderful stories to tell. Thank you for sharing..


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Norm, It is a pleasure to see you here. I will pass along your message. Dad will be happy to hear from you. Tell everyone out there hi!

Thanks Always, It is an enjoyment to sit back and listen to them talk. Sometimes you can feel as if you were there in the center of the action. I love listening to the stories.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

It is wonderful that you are listening and recording your Dad's stories. Thanks for sharing a bit about him with the rest of us. It would seem that he prepared you well for life and to be able to stand on your feet and tackle whatever comes along. That is indeed a gift worth treasuring.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

This was wonderful to read. Thanks for sharing. I don't have any Vietnam Vets in my family because my father was the only one in his family old enough to go there and he failed the medical and Canada didn't go to Vietnam (Mom's side is Canadian).


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

Beautiful tribute to your father. Touching...


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Peggy,

I made a mistake not preserving receipes from my grandmother when she was alive. She was such a baker that everyone wanted to learn how to make her stuff. I had inherited her talent, but when she passed, realized just how special it was and what it meant to others by not having these receipes. I seen this happening with my dad. He has led such a colorful life, that when he is gone, it will leave a big mark in the family. (He just found out this year that he has the side effects of Agent Orange.) When this opportunity to write about him came up, I couldn't pass it up. It has been a pleasure to pass them on. Thanks again for stopping by to read them.

Thanks FloraBreen,

It is a shame how they were treated after the war. Growing up to hear stories about it is one thing, but to see it happening still brought out a new light on the situation. Dad once told me that the men and women were only doing what was asked of them, all they wanted was a little respect for doing their part for the country. To see how my daughter's teacher acted towards my daughter about her paper showed me that some still didn't approve or respected those that served. Hopefully your parents didn't have to endure this kind of treatment. Thanks again for stopping by.

Thanks AAZavala, It has been fun writing about him. I am just waiting to see what he has to say about it. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

I still find it disgusting that people like Jane Fonda, a traitor to our country, are treated with respect and our veterans were treated so shabbily. Tell your father "Welcome home" for me.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Becky, I will be sure to tell him.


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 4 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

How wonderful.... Voted-Up!!! God Bless you!


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Drpastorcarlotta,

Until Thanksgiving, he never knew I had been writing a series about him. I was afraid to tell him, but just like the family said, he loves the attention. I have a few more stories in the works, but my time here has been spotty due to starting our own business and trying to get it off the ground before winter sets in.

Thanks for stopping by...I am glad to see you!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi tlpoague,

I just wrote about my brother Jim and his part in Vietnam. It is after the fact as he is long ago deceased but I found some old photo negatives that dated back to the 1960s. I agree...the Vietnam vets were not respected and did not get the appreciation that they should have for serving their country. Tell your dad that I appreciate his service to country! Glad to hear that he is liking what you are writing about him! That is wonderful! Enjoy the times you can still spend together. Up and beautiful votes!


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Peggy, I will be sure to pass it on. I was just as grateful to see that my mom and daughter finally joined HP so they could share their memories of him. He is quiet the character. I think it is up to people like us to remind others that these men and women risked their lives, too. Many didn't ask to serve in the military, but still did it anyway. Thanks for sharing a tribute to your brother and stopping by here.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

A very neat tribute to your Dad. How special, and no one could miss your great love, appreciation and respect for your Father, the Big Nam. Thanks so much for sharing.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Hi Tlpoague, I left a comment here yesterday that didn't go through, so I am leaving it again. This is a wonderful hub about a wonderful man, no wonder you are so proud. I mentally transposed some of the letters...it came out "Big Man" which I had to laugh at at little bit. He seems like a real man, so wonderful in so many ways. Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful tribute to him with us all. :)


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

My apologies Oceansnsunsets, I have been away from my computer today and have my comments set on needing to be approved before they show up. I can't help but laugh when the family gets together to share stories about his latest adventure (or even previous ones). He has a way about him that is magical and leaves one to wonder if the event really happened that way. Many a farmer has walked away listening to his stories in disbelief. Many of them I would have never believed if I hadn't been there to witness them first hand. He is a simple man that tried hard to raise his children the best he knew how. It is those stories that I listen to and family events that led me to want to write a series about him. I can only hope that he will appreciate them and be as proud of me. Thanks again for stopping by.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Sure thing, and it sounds like you have a wonderful family as well. These are the times to treasure for sure, laughing and remembering the stories and things the make you smile. Story telling is an awesome talent, we don't see it too often anymore, but it can be so entertaining. No reason to apologize, I thought my comments were just not showing up. Thanks again for sharing part of your awesome heritage with others.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Such a nice tribute to your Dad.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Oceansnsunsets, Sorry I didn't reply sooner. I guess my head was in the Christmas batter. I am a little slow with the clicky button some days. Thanks again for stopping by!

Thanks Susan, It has been fun writing stories about him. I have my mother doing it now too. She had a few I told her she should share instead of me. He didn't take the news so well when the family broke it to him over Thanksgiving. He is a little shy when it comes to others telling stories about him. I think now he is starting to enjoy the attention. (His sisters were more than happy to share a few they thought I should write about...LOL!) Thanks for dropping by. I hope you have enjoyed the Big Nam series.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

tlpoague, Voted Up and all the way--on this superbly-written hub. My friend, I want you to know just how much this hub touched me. Made me think (and miss) my dad who passed on Sept. 26, 2006, after a two-year sickness. My mom joined him one year ago this past August. My dad, like your dad, was one of those people from the 'old school,' whom we thought would be around forever. Well, they are. And will be. I enjoyed this story TREMENDOUSLY. I urge you to keep your writing on the top of your priority list. I admire your talent. Merry Christmas. Your friend, Kenneth


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Kenneth, Your comment has brought tears to my eyes. I have felt I did a great job to be able to move my readers like I have for you. My mother is sharing a few of her Big Nam stories here on HP. All of the men I have written about with the exception of Big Nam have passed on. I will always hold their memories close to my heart. Thank you again, and I hope you have a Merry Christmas with many blessings. I will keep you in my prayers as I read that you were fighting a battle with your health. Stay well! I'm looking forward to reading more as time permits.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

tlpoague...you are welcome, my new friend. As welcome as rain in the hot July sun. I mean that. I really sink myself into your hubs. They are well-written and laden with soul and lots of heart. And DO NOT FRET...I am NOT leaving Hubs...just slowing down. Some. And I WILL throw in a hub every now and again...IM NOT DONE by a long shot and thanks for YOUR prayers.

Kenneth


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Not a problem Kenneth, I too have been slowing down and focusing on my new business and helping my mother and daughter on HP. I am hoping to be able to share more stories soon. Thanks again!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

tlpoague...it is MY pleasure. I am honest. I learn from talented people such as yourself. I am only a high school grad. Class of '72, Hamilton High School, Hamilton, Alabama. I too am hoping to share more of my life-tales with you and my HP friends. And Thank YOU.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

I love this Hub! It is a marvelous ode to dad. It reminds me a bit of my dad, too, who is known far and wide as a riveting raconteur.

I will check out the Big Nam series. Thank you for the pleasure of learning about your dad and how he makes you feel.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Ken,

Thanks James, I have enjoyed sharing my stories, and was equally pleased to see my mother and daughter take up the torch. I haven't been able to get my dad to read them yet, but thought about printing them out for him as a Christmas gift. He has become a legend in our family. Thanks again for stopping by!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

tl, you are very welcome. I enjoyed your hub thoroughly. Very well-written. Masterfully-presented. Love your writing style. Kenneth


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

*Blushes*


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

12/14

Dear tl....you deserve it. (Stands to applaud).


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Dear tlpoague ~ I agree with all commenters that this is a "beautiful" tribute to your father. He has brought memories to help you overcome the writer's block. I really can't imagine you having this state of being, since as a 'hub-aholic' writing blogs means thinking day and night about what to write. Everything becomes fodder for the keyboard. Your contributions to this community are immeasurable and this trait must have come from your dad as a supporter, giver and helper to others. (meow)-(bow-wow!) Blessings to you this day, Debby


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Debby, Some of the writer's block comes from cleaning up some of the activities he/we have done.(Sometimes it is hard to place the words on paper, than to talk about it over the phone.) For those that have not experienced this kind of colorful personality, it can come across as abrassive, crazy, and/or immoral.

There has been so much I have learned over the years from my parents, that has helped with my creativity. The same can be said for my hubby and his family, whom have been close friends since I was a baby. I am now seeing these traits showing through our children. I was happy to see that my sister, mother, and daughter, are now members of the HP family, so the stories can be seen from different points of view.

I am going through a few life changes at the moment, so the stress has become a block I am working through. If it wasn't for helping the girls with their hubs, it might have taken me longer. I am grateful to have my HP family. It helps to break the block and know that what I have been writing is appreciated by others. Thank you! I feel honored. (I just wish there was more time in the day to comment on everyone's hubs! There are so many wonderful writers here.)

I wish you the best of luck with your writing! I have enjoyed reading it. Blessings!


Sky9106 profile image

Sky9106 4 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

Beautiful story, the essence of which rings true in me and my life's goal.

I am so moved to know that the very same things I say to kids and their parents alike, can be heard echoing strongly here, in your writing .

To me that's such a beautiful thing.

I am happy to know that all those people, who are the primary ones that are needed to be in your corner, stands there for you , with great encouragement.

It's great to that you are one of those who have carefully absorbed and clean understanding of all that your parents has handed "out" which you are now sincerely passing on with great pride. Give Thanks.

Even to others outside the family , which will be of great benefit to many.

Thanks for sharing such truth and conviction, about your Dad and family. I look forward to reading more.

Bless.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Sky,

I had a lady once tell me that she had never seen five kids share candy like we did. Most of the children she was around fought over it. Each of us broke of a piece of candy and traded it to the others. In our minds we could have a bit of everything. Even our parents were impressed.

Dad is a man with a colorful personality. Somedays it is easier to get along with him than others, but when one steps back to see the lessons he is trying to teach, they are pretty helpful. He is a survivor of a war that left it mark. I know he wouldn't want any of us to go through that.

The trips we have made with Dad and things we have done, inspired me to write about him. The men in my stories had an inpact on Dad's life, as much as he had an inpact on ours. I know my children have been enjoying the stories and giving their own imput.

Thanks again for stopping by!


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire, England

A great tribute to your father, those guys went through hell in Vietnam. It is a scandal the way they have been treated.

Well written. I look forward to reading about his exploits.

Voted up interesting and beautiful.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Molometer, It has been a challenge and a joy to write about him.


Sky9106 profile image

Sky9106 4 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

Oh yes, It's simply beautiful to read about kids sharing in that manner , much less experiencing it first hand. It's makes him very proud also , even if he did not say it , it's simply beautiful for fathers seeing kids practice discipline, but even more so with his own kids. Confirmation of a piece of him again growing towards possible perfection.

Knowing the type of discipline he had, being a soldier , it's all the more pride.

Sometimes all a great parent want from their kid/s knowing that they have done their best . Is one form of acknowledgement, in any form.

Great work, I 'll be reading.

Bless .


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Sky, It is a great feeling knowing that a person is appreciated.


mathira profile image

mathira 4 years ago from chennai

A touching hub about your father.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thank you Mathira, He has been a big part of my life. There is never a dull moment with him. Thanks again!


Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image

Ian Dabasori Hetr 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

I am moved by this hub because i can easily relate to it. I lost my dad in 2007 and its painful to see and hear people talk about their dad. But I have done good and I am sure my dad is a proud daddy just like yours.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Ian, I am sorry to hear about your dad. It is hard to loose a loved one that is close to you. My dad is still adjusting to me writing about him. At first he was upset, but now I think he is enjoying the attention the family is giving him. It is interesting for them to read different views of the same person, since my mother is also writes about him occationally.

After reading a couple of your hubs, I am sure you dad is proud of you. What man wouldn't be proud of his son's writing skills? Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Dear tlpoague ~ Do you link your family member's hubpages on yours, so we can meet them? I often get lost meeting so many new faces that it is difficult to keep up with authors, names and relationships between them. Wishing you well, Debby


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Debby, Sorry it too so long to get back to you. I have been working out of town, and my internet is sketchy. Yes, my family members profiles are linked to my profile. My sister does more reading and hasn't posted any of her writing yet. My mother is the most active. You may have seen her around. My daughter's schedule doesn't give her much time to get on here. (I wish she would post more. She has some awesome clean humor clips and poems.) My niece just started, so I am a bit behind reading hers. Her schedule,too, keeps her pretty busy. So far everyone seems to enjoy it.

Thanks again for stopping by and the well wishes!

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