The Greatest Man I Know
ENG 121: COMPOSITION I
June 16, 2013
The Greatest Man I Know
There is one person that has influenced my life in a way that no other ever could. This person has stood by my side and been there for me like no one else in this world. He is the greatest man I know. Who is this person? This person is the man I call Daddy, my dependable, devoted, single father that bravely raised me all alone. Without the guidance and nurture that my father provided for me, from the time I was born, I would not be the person that I have grown to be today. I continuously strive to be more like him everyday. Any man can become a father, but it takes an extraordinary and emotionally loving gentleman with a genuine heart to be a true dad.
My father was the youngest of seven children. His mother, my grandmother, had five energetic girls and two rambunctious boys. The only sibling that my father was ever exceptionally close to is his brother. They did not grow up in a wealthy family like some with the availability of a lavishly flourished money tree. My grandmother immensely struggled to provide for my father and his six siblings. My dad’s father was not around very often, so my grandmother was left to raise these children single-handedly. As anyone could expect she was timorous, but determined and invincibly she managed to supply each child with tender care and she would prepare nutritious, wholesome meals for her family every night. In raising her children, my grandmother instilled extremely important values of integrity, kindness, self-worth, and, in my opinion the most important value, which is to trust and believe in the Lord for guidance in all things. These moral values that my grandmother taught her children stuck with my father in a special way.
At the young age of 17 years old, my father was naturally devastated when he was drafted by the Government for the Vietnam War. As with many men from that time, this experience took a huge toll on my father. He is an incredibly placid man and the things he encountered through this crossing in his life struck my father with the emotional and physical damages of war. My father earned a Purple Heart for losing the ability to hear in one ear from the result of a hand grenade thunderously exploding directly beside his head and the enormous blast ultimately blowing his ear drum. I had the privilege to hold that cold, shiny metal in my hands only once and immediately it gave me a lurid image of the shocking powerful throbbing feeling that my father must have felt when that tragic event occurred. I can only imagine how the effects from the extreme blast must have rumbled through his whole body as if he was in the direct path of the ferocious winds that are produced from an intense hurricane. The aroma of gun powder and smoke that surrounded him, along with the forceful sounds of guns blasting all around must have been terrifying. I can say that I feel tremendously blessed that this is the only physical injury that he sustained throughout this terrible journey. It took several years for him to defeat the emotional damages from the horrifying and gruesome images from that war. My dad, being the indomitable man that he is, was able to overcome these tragic events that took place in his life and move forward with supreme pride and dignity. He threw away the Purple Heart and has never taken advantage of any of the benefits offered to him from being a Vietnam Veteran. My father left that horrendous part of his life in the past and just has no desire to be a part of anything they have to offer him. I guess you could say that he is stubborn in a way, but knowing my dad I do understand why he feels this way and I have never questioned or