Monday, October 18, 2010

At Ease Soldier!

This weekend, we had my Dad and Connie up to celebrate birthdays.  You may already know that I call my Dad "The Tin Man".  It's not just a blog nickname.  I call him that because he had a heart attack and lived to tell.  Of course The Tin Man always wanted a heart.  Well, I feel like my Dad got his new heart, just like The Tin Man.  It was over ten years ago that my Dad got his new heart.

Something you don't know about my Dad, he is a Vietnam War Vet.  My Dad, a Soldier.  For years, Dad didn't always talk about it and of course the Vietnam Vets weren't always welcomed home the way soldiers from other wars were.  It wasn't until recently, that alot of our boys from that "Conflict" have received their due.  Try telling them it was a "Conflict" and not war.  I would never tell my Dad he wasn't in a "War".  He fought, friends died.  And thank God, my Dad lived to tell this one too.

Every year, I call my Dad on Veteran's Day.  I thank him!  I always want him to know how thankful I am for him as our Soldier.  This year, here's how I let him know:

I wrapped him in a big hug!  Now ya know my Dad is a bit of a crier.  And yes, like he tried to talk it out at the end saying "They take bets", we do.  We take bets on how fast we can get him to cry.  Terrible, isn't it?

The timing may have been a bit off as his Birthday was in July, but ya know the garden just threw me off a few months this year and I didn't get it done in time.  It took him a bit to realize what it was and seeing as how I only had 2 minutes of record time on my little camera, we had to push it a little to get him to the part that would just bust him up.  Terrible...  ;o)

So the quilt is done in all red, white, blue and gold.  Half-Square Triangles arranged in a Depression Block pattern.  
My MIL did a fantastic job with her long arm quilting!  Thank you, make a wonderful partner in crime!  
I did my best to throw Dad off by saying, "We" were still working on his Birthday gift.  Pretty sure he assumed Pig Pen and I were building him something.  Little did he know the "We" was my MIL and I.  Sneaky, huh? 

The back of the quilt is the part that sealed the deal.  I special ordered the Army Crest fabric and of course, The Tin Man.  This is what made his little lip quiver:
My note to him: 
Nicholas G. Kallas – 589th Engineer Battalion – Vietnam 1967-1968
Every Veteran’s Day, I call to say Thank You. It’s not just on that day that I am thankful for the soldier that you were…it’s every day.
When I was little, you gauged things by if I could wrap my arms around you. This is how I will wrap my arms around you every day.
I hope it keeps you warm, surrounds you in love and comforts you. You deserve that and so much more for being our Soldier, my Dad, my Hero…my Tin Man.
“At Ease, Soldier!”
I love you, Dad!
And I extend this to all our Soldiers.  Thank you!  I may not know these Soldiers personally, but I do know my Dad.  Like him, you may not ask for the honor, you may not even agree with your orders, but you do it any way. 

And that is honor.   
Your honor, our honor. 
It doesn't matter how you vote, what your political views are or anything else, Our Soldiers are there for us.  I for one am thankful for that.  
Here is a photo of my Dad's reunion held just this past month.  He got to see his "brothers" after 40 years!  Pretty.Darn.Cool.
To all the Soldiers and Vets out there, this hug is for you too.


  1. I have no sound when I play videos. Why? Anyway that quilt was AWSOME!!!!! You guys did a spectacular job. Who wouldn't love a gift like that filled with so much "heart". And thank your Dad for me. They are the reason we get to do what we do.

  2. You brought me to tears, too. What a lovely gift.

  3. Jane, It's probably my camera. I have been having all sorts of issue with the video clips. Thank you and I most certainly will pass along your thanks to my Dad as well!

    Susan, Thank you for commenting! Sometimes tears can be very happy long as yours were, then that's ok, right? Hugs to you in either instance!

  4. Okay...I got a little choked up watching that video a second time. He is so cute!!! And you are such a sweetheart Di. You are one of the best gift givers EVER! I am sure your dad will wrap up with that quilt every night :-)

  5. Jen, he is cute, isn't he? He actually said he wouldn't want to use it but I insisted. He better use it! I think Connie will make sure he does.

  6. Oh geeze... these people only had a FEW tears? Hello... Cathy the Cryer... RIGHT HERE!!! :) Seriously though, that was very sweet... he's lucky to have you as a daughter!!!

  7. Ah that is so beautiful, give dad a big thanks from all of us here on the McGuire homestead. Its men like him that give us the freedom to be all that we can be.
    Love the quilt, gosh yall did a great job on it.

  8. Chelsi, I cried like a baby trying to write the note on the back, so yeah...I'm with you! Thanks hon!

    Stella, You are so right! And I thank you for your kind thoughts and wishes. :)

  9. You do BEAUTIFUL work! What a gift you have. Your love and admiration for your dad is very touching. God bless our Veterans. He sounds like a great man.

  10. WOW! What a gift and not just the quilt the love you showed Nickie. He must still be beaming. Wish Mitch could have seem this and been there. Love you all.

  11. Kent Island Red, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! I know my Dad and I both love that you did! And thank you for blessing our Vets!

    Marsha! Wow, now I don't know that I expected to hear from you but am so so happy that I did! I am CERTAIN Mitch would have appreciated everything too. God rest his soul, I know my Dad feels the void he left also. Thank you Marsha and all the love back to you and your family also! xoxo

  12. Wow, wow, wow! Just wow! Thanks to your Dad, and gosh darnit he's lucky to have a daughter like you. :)Now I gotta go wipe my face and get rid of these blubbery tears so I can make dinner!!!

  13. Beautiful post Di! Not only are you lucky to have a Dad like you do, but he is lucky to have a daughter like you! You are both truly blessed!

  14. YOU are one fantastic daughter! Yep, I cried! My dad was Vietnam era as well, and I know it was only in the past decade or so they were allowed to join the VFW, since it was not technically a "war" but a "conflict", what a load of cr@p! Not an issue anymore thankfully, since I am also "allowed in" as a veteran of Desert Storm - I can't imagine me being able to join but not him! I am so proud of my dad for serving, and he always makes sure to tell others about his daughter that served, too! How cool to have such great dads! Tell yours "thank you"!

  15. Thats the most beautiful gift I think you could give a dad. you are so special, I bet he gave you a BIG hug for that one.
    I'll bet he's sooo proud of you, I know I am.

  16. I think Pops meant "LOL" as in lots of love...not Laugh Out Loud. We have to get him used to texting acronyms.

  17. What a beautiful tribute and a beautiful quilt for your dad. I always think quilts given as gifts to adults fill the same needs as favorite blankies do to little ones. They truly do wrap them in hugs and remind them of your love every day.

    The Viet Nam War (what else would you call it?) was such an ugly event. Our soldiers did so much, but were supported so little. We owe them as much thanks as we can communicate to them.

  18. Ya'll are too sweet! I know my Dad is blubbering with every comment that hit and I am sure if there was any question as to being appreciated or not, he knows now. Thank you!

    I can't imagine the VFW puttiing off for so long. Makes me mad! But I suppose it's better late than never.

    Erin...thank you and your Daddy both for serving us well too! That hug at the end includes you both!

  19. I found your blog from Erin's blog GARDEN NOW - THINK LATER! Your quilt is a beautiful treasure!! I am so appreciative to all who serve and for their families who also give so much!!

  20. Debi, well you are in great company if you are with Erin! She is one of my favorite blogs! Thank you so much for leaving a comment and for loving our troops and their families! They can never have too much of our appreciation. Hugs!!