I was given a great gift today.
After driving six hours to visit our family, my uncle gladly climbed in my car with me for destinations unknown to him. No questions asked, no apprehensions, just jumped right in, ready for anything.
Since my grandfathers passing my uncle, the oldest of 5, has become the patriarch of the family. He is the glue that helps hold together our very large family not allowing, time, distance or life's drama get in the way of us being together.
He sacrifices his time, his energy and heart to do whatever he can to help those around him. Just this year he helped a 92 year old gentleman work his farm. Working hard for long hours he gave himself to this old man to help him continue to reap product from this beautiful earth.
Growing up in small town Iowa, my uncle learned that you helped those in need. You worked for and with your neighbors and you never stepped down from a challenge. Everything you did, you did completely with honesty, integrity and dedication.
This work ethic and genuine concern for the fellow man followed my uncle over to Vietnam when he was but a young man. He supported this country, his fellow soldiers and did his family proud.
He may not have gotten a heroes welcome when he returned from his time 'in country' but he certainly deserved one. I'm proud to say that today, on this Veterans Day, I was able to be with my uncle to see him get the praise he so richly deserves.
I took my uncle to a job site that I've been a part of. I asked him to stand next to the American made steel beams, below an American flag at the site of a future Harley Davidson. I did it all so I could capture him surrounded by as much America as I could gather. Steel, construction workers, Harley Davidson and the American flag all in the middle of this beautiful country.
The America that we now know is in part because of my uncle and the other fine men that he stood next to all those years ago. On this day I honor a man that I am humbled to know and proud to call family.
Nikon d40 kit lens
shutter speed 1/640
aperture f/4.5 @ 13mm
manual exposure, natural light
This photo is untouched. It's raw, its real and it's one of my favorite pictures. Not because it's technically the best, or because I manged to follow up Scott's Wordless Wednesday with a vertical post because nobody can figure out what the image is of, but because I'm lucky enough to know this great man.
Thank you to all of our Veterans. To my Grandfathers (WWII), my uncles (Vietnam), my brother (peace time) and my cousin (currently awaiting another deployment), I love you and I'm very proud of all of you.