Dad's Resume

With yesterday being Father's Day, of course I'm going to write a post about my dad, not because it's cheaper than a card (It's on the way, dad) or because I'm obligated since I wrote one for my mother, but because my dad gives me allot of material to work with. However, there's a problem in having so much to work with, and that's how much time my dad will spend at the computer reading it. When I left home for the Army, my dad used to sit down and write me these long letters using the most perfect penmanship ever witnessed. There's something about hand-written letters that mean a great deal to my dad. Maybe it's because he can appreciate the thoughtful effort required to put pen to paper, or perhaps it's that letters from home helped sustain his hope while he faced uncertain dangers in Vietnam. In any case there's this sentimental place within my father that relishes the simplicity of the past.

I know because he passed that same trait on to me. I'm sure sometime in the next decade when my boys try to send me their wishes for a happy Father's Day via the latest version of Mega-Twitter 2000 (don't ask, confounds me too), I'll fondly recall the days when you would just email your father. Of course, by that time, it's likely we will all be able to plug our brains directly into the computer giving us the ability to upload our love and gratitude in some form of E-emotion message and send it to a recipient in a matter of nano-seconds. That being the case, I'm sure I'll sigh to myself, nostalgically remembering the elegance of a wireless keyboard just before I jam a USB cable into my ear carnal in my attempt to send out Christmas Cards for the year 2020.

This is the same picture I have of my father as he sadly sits behind a computer, trying to figure out the URL for my blog so he can read this post dedicated to him, and all the while, wondering why I've forsaken the elegance and style found only in a well-written letter complete with a stamp and envelope.

As I sat at my desk thinking about my father and the age of written letters, I remembered his resume that mom sent me to update. I had read through it a few times before thinking of ways to rearrange the formatting and beef up the content -- noting how modest my father was in conveying his occupational expertise. When I tried to talk to him about updated details he would become elusive and a little annoyed. Normally, that behavior would be frustrating but I understood what he was thinking since downplaying accomplishments and talents is another trait passed on to me. As such, the resume has sat dormant as some gigabyte of information in a hard drive somewhere, until I thought to conjure it up as part of my Father's Day reflections. Looking at it as a son, I realized how much I've learned about being a man through the few short lines outlining my father's professional life.

Randolph-East Mead High School

A good education was something always recognized by both my parents who both attended college, but were unable to finish. But what I really learned from my dad in this short snippet of information was about sacrifice. Even though we lived by modest means, my sisters and I never went without and always had what we needed growing up including a private education that my father worked hard and sacrificed his time to earn for us. Today I see so many fathers who won't sacrifice even an afternoon of their own time for their kids and yet I had a dad who gave up time, money and opportunities year after year so his children could have the best he could offer.

Journeyman electrician with experience working alone and supervising other workers as a general laborer, material handler, and conduit installer, as well as operating forklifts, manlifts and bucket trucks. Over 600 hours of classroom instruction, now a teacher in the electrical program.
Cooper Wiring Devices
Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Pennsylvania

My dad is the hardest working guy I know - hands down. He's approaching retirement age and yet I still hear stories of how he runs circles around younger guys in a profession that is physically demanding. Alot of guys his age are content to waste as much of their time as they can drinking coffee and BS'ing with co-workers about the ills of society, like why they can't get disability to help them pay for another dozen donuts. While these guys are running at the mouth, my dad is doing his job and theirs, and doing it more quickly and accurately. Because of this work-ethic, he's been offered chances for more responsibility, but he keeps turning them down - not because he's afraid of it, but because my dad would rather get jobs done than get bogged down in the politics surrounding the job.

Co-owner of family business, a lawn, garden and agricultural supply store. Duties ranged from warehouse/grinder man to President of Corporation. Company grew from one location with annual sales of $360,000 to six locations with annual sales reaching $3,500,000.
Executive Time Management
Perfection of Selling Techniques.

From almost the time I was born until just after I left home, my Dad worked in a family owned and operated agri-business. He and his brothers started it after their dad - my grandfather - got laid off from a factory job and needed a place to work. My Dad was the youngest of the five brothers (hence the 5 M Milling name), and yet he had to take charge as the president, confront older family members on issues, and settle disputes. It had to be uncomfortable, and there always was an easy way out, but my Dad stuck it out. He was loyal to his family and to his employees. One of the hardest jobs I ever had was working for my father in the business. I say it was hard because Dad wasn't about to let me take the easy path just 'cause I'm the boss's kid. I used to hate it, but I later realized what he was teaching me. Not only that, I learned how to treat others. Dad was a favorite of all those he worked with. He was personable, sincere and fair. I don't know how many times I watched him unload an entire truck load of fertilizer, or corn, or dog food in the middle of the summer. While others sat in an air-conditioned office, Dad would be sweating in the back of a rig, even when he was president of the corporation.

United States Army Laos & Cambodia: Completed two tours during the Vietnam War, led classified operations as a team leader and was honorably discharged. Awarded the BRONZE STAR for meritorious achievement in ground operations against hostile forces

These few sentences don't convey the half of it. Even today, with the books and movies coming out, Dad remains low-key on his service as a Green Beret in the Army. Dad never had to say much for me to realize how special that funny hat was perched at the top of the bookcase. As I got older and fished out more and more stories from him, I new what I wanted to be when I grew up. There were times I would take his beret and practice snappy salutes in front of the mirror when I thought no one was home. When you're a kid, what you see is the adventure and danger, but what I came to realize after I became a soldier myself is the cliche behind that kind of reasoning. What my dad (and many like him) had was a desire to be a part of something bigger than himself, and yet, ironically, to express that sentiment openly would reduce it to something laughable. To talk of being noble is only talk, whereas true nobility is an action that encompasses more than just a military uniform. It's how I am to act in every situation.

As I talked with my Dad on the phone yesterday about some tough circumstances in my own life, he remarked that he wouldn't even know how to deal with what I was going through. However, the truth of the matter is, I wouldn't know how to deal with it either had I not had the example my father set for me in how to act with honor, even when you make mistakes.

4 Children (1 Son, 3 Girls), all happily married

9 Grandchildren (4 Grandsons, 3 Granddaughters, 2 Step-Granddaughters)

I know these aren't the typical distinctions for a resume, but they are the right set of distinctions for the man I'm writing about. I've heard my dad lament more than once over the belief he didn't do enough, but the fact of the matter is he (along with mom) did all he was capable of doing, which is a great deal compared to an average guy, and what he's done has paid off with a happy set of kids, and grandkids, as well as one swell wife. No one will accuse my father of being perfect, but but no one will ever say he didn't work his hardest or put himself first either. I guess to answer the earlier question of why I didn't just write a letter or send a card I'd have to say that only my dad gets to read what I've written in a card or letter and then it goes into a shoebox to share eternity with 36 years of other cards and letters from me. With a blog, however, I get to share who my dad is with the world, and, at the same time, I also have the chance to express my appreciation and love for the man greatly responsible for making me who I am today. Thanks Big Guy.

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