By Staff Sgt Amanda Dick
Air Force Public Affairs Agency
As it’s Father’s Day, I wanted to take the time to write about my father and how I honored him. I’ve pretty much known nothing but the military my whole life.
I was born into this world in Georgia at a U.S. Army medical facility. From the time I was 8 months old, I’ve been moving around.
As a little girl, I remember watching my dad put on his Army uniform and go to work. Several times, we took him dinner when he had to work overnight. I remember going to several Christmas parties at his work, and they always had gifts for the kids.
I grew up on his Meals-Ready-to-Eat, and loved chewing the gum and eating the dessert out of it.
Did you know military gear has a distinct smell to it? I do! Growing up around that smell has sort of made the military a “comfort zone” for me. Whenever I walk into a military issue shop and smell the military gear, it takes me back to being a kid again, and I’m instantly wrapped up in warmth – the same goes for watching football on Sundays.
My father was gone a lot – whether out in the field or on temporary duty to Australia or other locations. Despite that, he was always able to make it to every basketball, softball, soccer and volleyball game I had – home or away.
When he was in Korea my senior year of high school, he came back on his mid-tour during Christmas and worked it so he could be there for my graduation in May.
When I had major surgery in 2009, he took short-notice vacation from his job in the postal service to come over to Germany and take care of me. He showed us that family mattered to him; that we were a top priority.
My father has always been there for us – even during trying times! He’s never been afraid to show us or tell us that he loves us.
Through his 20 years of military service to the U.S., he showed us how to work hard and be dedicated– he joined in 1982 and retired in 2002. Throughout my life, the military has been a constant – it’s also one of the reasons I feel a continuous need to move after just a couple years in one spot.
Watching the passion my dad had for serving his country sparked the same passion in me. That’s why in January 2006, I joined the U.S. Air Force. While my dad would have loved if I joined the Army, I figured since the Air Force used to be part of the Army, I’d still be “keeping it in the family.”
Among the many reasons I joined, I wanted to start a tradition of military legacy in our family. I wanted to honor my father by having one of his children join the military – it’s only me and my sister. I wanted to have pride in what I was doing in my life.
To me, my father is the greatest man in the world – my military superhero. We learned valuable lessons from him and my mother that I hope to pass on one day to any children I may have. So, Michael Dick, Happy Father’s Day from a daughter who thinks you mean the world to her!
Photos: (Top) Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Dick waits for the air show to begin in August 2008, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. Dick served in the Army for 20 years, retiring in 2002. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Dick)
(Bottom) Then-U.S. Army Private 1st Class Michael Dick and Cynthia Dick take a couples photo while Michael is on Christmas leave from Army basic training in December 1982. Michael joined the Army in 1982 and served until 2002, completing 20 years of military service. (Courtesy photo)