The definition of a veteran is:
vet·er·an [vet-er-uhn, ve-truhn]
1. a person who has had long service or experience in an occupation or office
2. a person who has served in a military force, esp. one who has fought in a war: a Vietnam veteran
Working in a Congressional Office has allowed me to talk with many Veterans from our armed services. There is no way I can ever adequately thank or repay them for their service to our country. I am humbled to know that because of their sacrifice, I am free.
Today I would like to honor my personal favorite Veteran--my father, Bill Penn. You see, in my life, he has exemplified both of the definitions above--he has had long service and experience as my father and he has also served our country in a war (Vietnam to be exact). My dad has not only served his country, but he has served our family, our church and our community.
I've always been a big believer that is it really the little things that matter. In high school, my dad would come to my room every morning and carry my backpack downstairs and put it in the car for me. He would (and still does--when I'm home) put fresh roses in my room for me. He is always the first one in our family to volunteer to do whatever task is needed--from washing the dished to vacuuming. The clincher is this: Dad does all these things with a smile on his face and usually whistles while he does them. He wants to serve. I have no doubt that my mom, brother, and other individuals in our community have stories where my father has stopped what he is doing to serve them.
So Dad, I really appreciate you and value you in my life. You have been such an amazing father and set a Christ-like example for me while also teaching me to follow my perfect Heavenly Father. Thank you for everything you have done for me in my life. Also, thank you for serving our country. I'm so proud of you and I love you very much!
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some fun pictures of my dad: