happy birthday, dad

Mike’s dad is one of a kind. He was raised in the suburbs of Chicago, and is a first generation American, born here, but spent a few years until he was seven or so, in his homeland of Slovakia. He is a WWII veteran hero, serving on the subtender USS Fulton, and is a retired Houston police officer. He also worked in insurance investigation for many years. He is one of the best story tellers and, as you might imagine, he has some good ones, always remembering everyone by their first and last names. He has many friends, and to this day, works security for the Astros, where he gets to watch his favorite game of baseball on most home games. He is the best father and grandfather anyone could ever ask for, not afraid to love, but truly, a man’s man–one you admire in every way.
He always amazes me at his energy and ability to keep up with Mike, his son and my husband, which is no small feat. The best gift he and Mike’s mother ever gave me was teaching their son how to be the best husband–a man of honor and hard work, of love and generosity, of joy and depth. The apple doesn’t fall far, and I am so thankful for both of them as role models for my son and daughters. He has contributed so much to this world and to my family’s life. Today we get to honor and celebrate him! We’re going to have a nice dinner then give him his gift: The Jimmy Sturr polka band is coming to Texas for Oktoberfest in New Braunfels, so we will all go do a little polka and eat sausage together then stay at our favorite B & B. (I also got him the DVD, “Silent Wings” that Goldy recommended this week. Think it was any coincidence I met another WWII vet this week?) Below are two pictures when Mike and he went to the USS Fulton in 1996 before they retired the ship from service. The porthole window he is holding weighs about 50 pounds, and they were allowed to carry three of them off the ship together. Happy 81st Birthday, Dad. You’re the best!

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