A lesson learned. Thanks Dad!

Author:  Hunter, Oregon Military Youth

I slammed the door with tears in my eyes. I used my hand to wipe the sweat from my warm red face. I walked further into the house, tracking mud with every step. I tried to get to the bathroom in order to avoid my Dad, and to take a well needed shower, but he walked out of the kitchen before I could reach my desired destination.

“How was football practice,” my Father asked, even though he obviously knew the answer to his question.

“Terrible,” I exclaimed, “I never get put out on the field!”

My Father slowly stood up obviously ready to teach a lesson. I looked at my Mom to get out of whatever was to come, but she looked away from me and made eye contact with my father, letting him know that she supported his lesson that was soon to come.

“Why do you think you don’t get put on the field son?”

“I don’t know, maybe because I am afraid of getting hit and hurting others, and myself.”

“Then tackle me!”

I reluctantly walked up to him with tears about to come out of my eyes as I said, “No, I don’t want to hurt you.”

“I’m in this game; I know the risks, now hit me!”

I ran haphazardly toward my father. His rock solid Army chest deflected me and allowed his hands to wrap around my arms and throw me down!

“Again!” he screamed.

Now angry and red faced, this time I charged at him like a bull. My body impacted his, causing a deep smacking sound. I pushed with all my strength.

“Put me on my ass!” he yelled as he shoved me off of him one last time. I rushed him and impacted him while tears and snot flowed out of my face. “Push, push, push!” he said.

He finally took his gorilla like hand and slapped it onto my little shoulder. “Don’t be afraid to push and fight for your goal, just because something hurts and is tough, doesn’t mean you quit!” I looked into his ice blue eyes, “Everyone knows the game they’re playing. You push, and when you get knocked down, you get up, knock the dust off your ass, and go for it again!”

He patted my shoulder and told me to go take a shower.

When I shut the bathroom door, I knew I learned a valuable aspect of what it takes to be a man:

When you have a goal, keep fighting for it, just because it gets rough or it hurts, doesn’t mean you quit.

NOTATION:  Hunter stood before leadership from the Oregon National Guard and invited guests and shared his story.