It's been nearly a year since my Dad passed away and I've finally come to the point where I can write this page. I was hoping to find all the right words to honor Dad the way he deserves, but it's impossible to express completely the impact he made on me. I look back at things I have accomplished, my values, my moral code and see where he has influenced me in everything I have done and how I live my life. I hope I honor him best by what I have done and how I continue down the road without him. It's not been an easy year to be sure. I think of Pops every day wishing I could share with him my thoughts and hear how he's doing. After Mom passed away we talked nearly every day on the phone even if it was a quick, "Hi, how's the weather?" I am fortunate to say that during those six years I never once took him for granted.
You might wonder why I've included a tribute page to my Dad on CV41.ORG. I guess you could say that had it not been for Pops and his service in the Navy that there wouldn't be a CV41.ORG. Growing up I was totally fascinated with his hitch in the Navy especially his tour with VF-162 "The Hunters" aboard the USS Intrepid. I wore out his 1961-62 Mediterranean Cruise Book, constantly thumbing through it, daydreaming of visiting the ports, working on an aircraft carrier, and becoming a sailor. It was all I ever really wanted to do and it was his positive example that became my aspiration.
Dad was an Aviation Fire-Controlman, one of the first to wear the rate and spent most of his tour working on the Douglas F4D Skyray. He never encouraged or discouraged my plans to join the Navy which I mentioned I had planned on doing very early on. Nearly 20 years after my Dad had gone though NATTC Memphis to become an AQ I was going through the same schools, also to be an AQ. It was an excellent rate that afforded me a lot of opportunities. I never regretted the decision and thoroughly enjoyed my two hitches. I had a great example to guide me.
Pops was one of those Dads that just knew everything. Even if I knew how to do something he had a better way. It was frustrating when I was younger, but as I grew older I began to really appreciate his knowledge… and took advantage of it every time I got stuck on something. Although he seemed to know just about everything, he was always humble, honest and honorable. He truly was a major inspiration to me and one of the greatest persons I've ever known. I miss you Pops.