It was hot but we didn’t seem to notice. There was the laughter of children, the smell of good food, and the eager greetings of family and friends filling the air. Once a year our family gathers. There was roughly one hundred people that have been waiting a year for this event. Some have been planning and working for that year to host this reunion and they did an absolutely wonderful job.
Unfortunately, I live to far away to help. I would have loved the opportunity to cut my uncles yard on a riding lawn mower. I owe him something from last year involving a Crepe Myrtle tree. My uncle and my father are the only two men I have known in my life that personified, in every way, what a man should be and how he should carry and present himself.
If you have read anything I have written then you know what high regard I have for my father and his twenty six year battle with Parkinson’s. Now let me introduce you to my uncle.
He is a retired life long soldier. He has walked through hell and came out the other side wounded and battered but standing tall and straight. He is the kind of man movies are made of, books are written about, and fathers tell their sons about. If you knew nothing about his past and just met him he has the presence and aura that makes you wonder…there is something special about this man.
He is covered with wounds and battle scars…some you can see…some you can not. But just like my father and his battle I have never once heard a ” why me”. He, like so many of his generation, are the personification of what it means to be a gentleman. A trait that seems to be withering away among young men.
He is my last living hero. I have been in awe of this man from my earliest memories. The only reason I jumped out of airplanes was because he did. Tell me…how much do you have to love and respect some one that you would jump out of an airplane simply because he did?
There is absolutely no way I could ever grasp the intensity of the life he has lived.
There is also no way he could know how much of a positive effect he has had on, not just mine, but so many young men’s lives.
He is Command Sergeant Major Michael Deeb….and I am honored and humbled to know him.
Bronze Star ( x 5..yes 5.. 3w/ valor )
5 Overseas Service Bars
8 Service Stripes
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Army Commendation Medal w/ Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Of Occupation Medal
Combat Infantry Badge
Master Parachutist Badge
Meritorious Service Medal
National Defense Medal w/ Oak Leaf Cluster
Vietnam Cross Of Gallantry
Vietnam Service Medal w/Silver Star
He also recently received a letter of commendation from the US Congress thanking him for his service.
On this Memorial Day I want you to know I love you….and thank you