Write-up & Photo by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb036

For me my father was the definition of what a dad should be. He was not only a provider and protector but he cared that his family was properly bundled up for winter’s cold weather and that we used Ivory soap and gentle tissues that would not be too harsh on our skin. He walked on the outside of sidewalks to keep us safe from the roadways and always opened doors, pulled out chairs and helped his girls on with our coats.

So I was quite touched to be reminded of what it means to have a father like that while covering a recent holiday event. During a Christmas parade, I snapped a photo of a firefighter handing out candy to children. Among them were two little girls whose father, as it turned out, is currently deployed in Afghanistan. Their mother was thrilled by the thought that he might see the news photo of his girls online despite the distance between them.

Suddenly, she looked down and said, “Yes, I have the girls bundled up.”

Her words spoke volumes about her husband. This is a man who though fighting a war, would still be concerned that his daughters were dressed warmly while outside in the cold. What struck me too is that this seemingly simple, ordinary worry was symbolic of much more, and representative of all American troops stationed far from home. For some it may be easy to forget that beyond the term ‘troops’ there is humanity, individuals with lives that matter. So, how important and poignant to be reminded that 6,000 miles away in Afghanistan – a dad is still a dad.