My Dad Nearly Died At War And I Had To Make My Choice
- Published on Mar 12, 2019
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This is Danny, and this is the story of how he crushed his father's dreams to follow his own.
His dad is a military man, and that basically set the course of his family’s life. They've lived all over the country: New York, Texas, Alaska, California, you name it! It's hard to make close friends living like that, but it's alright - Danny also has a little brother and sister, so he’s not totally alone. Their parents are strict, especially his dad. He always said that he was going to make real men out of his sons. Danny’s not sure how his sister fits into this concept, but that doesn’t stop his dad from trying. In order to do that, he applied military standards to parenting. If they misbehaved, they were punished like REAL SOLDIERS. Usually, it was stuff like doing push-ups, running in circles around the house, and worst of all - cleaning duty. Let's just say that after they flunk tests at school, their toilet is shining for weeks.
Don’t think that his dad’s a crazy tyrant or something. He's honest and brave and strong, and... Danny could go on forever. He also leads by example. When he messes up, he has to fix it. Like, this one time they were camping, and he managed to forget the tents and they spent the night in the rain. It was still great and they learned how to build a shelter in the wild, but the following week it was their dad who had to do all the chores in the house for them.
So, it’s no wonder Danny always wanted to be a soldier like his dad. He supported Danny and taught him how to handle weapons (not real ones of course), how to survive in the wild, some first aid, and some fighting tricks - stuff like that. After the 8th grade, he was supposed to go to military school in New Mexico. His mom was against it since it was in another state and he would be far away from his family for the first time. But he was determined.
So, while his dad was on one of his deployments, he got accepted to military school! He was thrilled. He couldn't wait until his dad got back home so he could tell him the news in person. Danny knew he would be so proud of him.
A couple of weeks after that, they were informed that his dad had been seriously wounded. Danny won't go into details, but it was bad enough for him to be sent back a bit earlier.
His mind was racing with thoughts and memories. He knew that some soldiers didn’t come back home. He knew that Mrs. Hale had lost her husband, and that his friends’ mom returned from her deployment with a gunshot wound. But it had always happened to someone else. Not to their family, not to HIS DAD. Suddenly, it all became so very real, and not that appealing. He didn’t want to admit it, even to himself - but he was scared. If his dad could get hurt there, then he definitely could too. Danny started to wonder what would've happened if it had been him instead of his dad out there. What if he got shot or killed, and then somebody would have to go tell his mom that he wouldn't be coming home?
When his dad finally got back, he stayed in the military hospital. They visited him often, to the point that Danny started to get bored going there. He tried talking to the medical staff but that didn't work out. They were nice people, but their patience was limited, so mostly he was shooed away by everyone. Except for one person - Jane. She was a nurse, and didn't have much time for him. But she tolerated him enough to answer some of his dumb questions about his dad’s health. She even gave him all these pamphlets about physiotherapy treatments and some other medical stuff. He got really into it, and started digging for more information on the internet. Partly, just to impress his dad. And maybe Jane, but mostly his dad.
Anyway, time went on, Danny’s dad was progressively getting better, and Danny himself was getting more and more interested in medicine and less interested in going to military school. The only problem was telling his dad about it.
So, he worked up enough courage and finally told him that he wasn’t sure he wanted to be in the military or move to another state for military school. He didn’t really have time to say anything else before he was interrupted.
His dad said he couldn't just throw away everything he'd worked so hard for, that he’d wanted it his whole life. And that eventually he would change his mind and regret it. “You've already been accepted, you're going. Period.”
Danny panicked. He knew he needed to change his dad’s mind. So he started talking about how scared and worried he was for him. He told him that he never really understood before how dangerous a soldier’s job was and that he didn't want to do it...
Music by Epidemic Sound: www.epidemicsound.com
- Film & Animation