A Father’s Day tribute to our military dads

Edmonds dad Michael Schindler with his family

By Michael Schindler

I was in Seattle on Thursday visiting a friend and I had my youngest daughter in tow. She observes my every little action down to a tee – how I hold my phone, how I talk, what I say; she is like a mini-recorder. I am always reminded of this by my wife when she arrives back home after an adventure with our daughters and shares with me the impatience my youngest displays when behind slow drivers…and she is only 5.

Anyway, my 6’5″ friend knelt down so he could get eye to eye with my daughter and share with her that every day is Mothers Day and that this Sunday was the one day out of the year we celebrate dads. My daughter, being 5, shrugged her shoulders and said, “Every day we celebrate my mom and dad.”

That is a 5-year-old’s perspective of her mom and dad. And while many of us get together this Fathers Day with family and friends, there are 5-year-olds across this country who haven’t seen Dad in months and don’t even really know Dad, even though he is still part of the family – but to a 5-year-old he is “just some guy on the computer TV.”

So to those Dads who not only lead their families to the best of their abilities while deployed in an effort to safeguard this country, we appreciate you and thank you. You give up the ball games, the precious little moments, the school plays – you are selfless and for that we are grateful.

As I drove my daughter home, I thought about the six months I was on assignment, out of state, away from my family and how the reintegration back into home, while it had some rocky moments, was a learning experience for us all. It took some time for my youngest to “study me” – but today, she, like her older sister, is a very accurate mini-recorder of me.

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads in uniform; we thank you.

Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, writes regularly for My Edmonds News.


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