Photo by Charles Hutchins

Before war my dad was calm, collective, and slow to anger. He was a patient peacemaker and a mediator in our family issues. He was hardly emotionally compromised and never had road rage. He also hardly cussed and was very trusting and forgiving.

After war my dad goes from 1 to 10 in one step. He has severe road rage even from the smallest things a driver does. When he explodes he loses it. He cusses and says things he doesn’t even remember. One time I wrestled him and accidently made him bleed. He threatened me.  Ten minutes later, while I was packing my things to stay the night somewhere else he asked, “Hey son, where you going?” As if nothing happened.

My dad has lost his relationship with his brother because he was quick to anger. That is not like my father. After war, my dad got so angry he kicked me out of the house.  An hour later he apologizes. Before war, my dad taught me to stay calm and think rationally but since back from war, he does the opposite.

I know I have endured things that other children will not have to deal with. Other kids don’t have to calm their father down in the car when they have road rage or listen to their dad say they are going to kill them. The reason they don’t have to endure that is because my dad went to war. And I’m proud because he did it with honor and he defended the red white and blue so other kids could have a normal child hood.

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