My Father of Guantanamo Bay

Last week, my history professor told us that we were going to have show and tell this week. I haven’t done show and tell since…what, first grade? If even then. There were just a few rules, though.

1.) It cannot be an animal
2.) If it is considered a weapon, it must not be illegal.
2a.) It doesn’t have to be legal here…it just has to be legal somewhere.
2a explanation.) Why? Because of past show and tells where a college student did something like a whale harpoon that deployed and ended up stuck in the classroom wall — coming out the other side of the wall in another class room, inches from someone’s head. Oh, and that one guy who wanted to teach the class how to make a pipe bomb…by demonstration. The professor simply reminded the student that he’d forgotten the materials in his truck and that it wouldn’t be necessary to open that back-pack he brought to the front of the class. Oh, no, don’t worry kid — you’ve definitely still got an A.

So I brought my dad. Why? Because he’s the most incredibly man in the world. He’s like Superman, but he survived everything without super powers. So, technically, I think he’s better than Superman. Yeah, I said it, Clark Kent! Booyah!

Anyway, my dad came into class and sat in the front row with me while we watched other students bring up their show and tell items. One girl did the worm, showing us that carpet-covered concrete knocks the breath out of you; another girl showed us her diaper wreath for her expecting friend; a guy showed us a hole in his chest that you can pour milk into and eat cereal out of (he uses it to break up with girls)…most interesting class ever.

My father and I stood at the front of the class as I introduced him and passed out photos of the U.S.S. Pensacola that he’d served on while he was in the Marines (he’d spent 4 years in the Marines and 4 years in the Navy). In 1976, the U.S.S. Pensacola left Norfolk and made its way down to the Bermuda Triangle on a mission to carry soldiers to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The Bermuda Triangle’s high magnetic fields caused permanent damage to soldiers — mentally. There are soldiers who are still in wards due to the paranoia they experienced. They were lost for 3 days, tied to the boat.

Why did they go to Guantanamo Bay? Cuban citizens were rushing the American…something or other. I can’t remember. Anyway, the soldiers were told not to let them in, at all costs. He didn’t talk about this in class, though. He’d told me about it a long time ago when I’d asked him why he had so many nightmares. It was because of standing guard outside and watching men, women, teenagers, children, and toddlers die. He also talked about his training as a tunnel rat in Vietnam.

My dad is awesome. Not just because he was an amazing soldier, but because he’s simply an awesome dad. And I got an A. I’ve also never felt more compelled to go back to training for the Air Force. I almost want to simply join now and finish school while I’m in.

I’ve really never felt more proud to have him as my father.

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