My father has been more present in my thoughts recently for a variety of reason. As I watch discussion about gun violence or the current state of our country, I am actually thankful he is not here. When he was dying the columbine shooting occurred. He always had the news on the television. The reports and images from columbine were raw and painful. At some point I explained to him that I wanted him to not watch the news while I was visiting because I knew the pain I would face once he died was similar to what the columbine community and our country were feeling. As these tragedies occur I think of my dad. I know he would be so frustrated and sad about the many injustices that are happening here there and everywhere. Though he wasn’t proud of himself I was. I knew his life had been harder than I could imagine. I often tried to understand his behaviors. His behavior at times was not appropriate. Therefore I looked for answers to why he directed his anger and pain to his family. He told me to never name a child after him. He said he didn’t want to have a service that included military honors. I think shame may have been a piece of why. This breaks my heart for him. Though I was thankful we didn’t have to endure a military service, his service was great. He signed up for service before he was old enough to serve. Therefore his family had to agree to let him serve. As a parent I can’t imagine sending my child to war. I applaud all of those people who sign up for service. And all of the families that support their service. It’s heartbreaking on so many levels. I can’t imagine signing up for service. But I am thankful to all that have and all that do. They are all #faroutstars to me!