Written by Virginia Kruta, columnist at The Daily Wire
Five years ago Monday, we suddenly lost my dad. I remember it like it was yesterday — the phone call from my sister saying that he had collapsed. The immediate fear felt like a bowling ball inside my chest because we had lost my uncle to a sudden heart attack just four months earlier.
I remember driving across the bridge into St. Louis to St. Luke’s Hospital, on the phone with a friend who immediately offered to drop everything and meet us at the hospital if we needed her to come.
But mostly I remember Dad. Sure, he had his faults. He had a short temper and a very low tolerance for stupidity — especially if he thought you should know better. But when you’re driving to the hospital and you know he’s already gone, you only remember the best things.
Dad introduced me to C.S. Lewis when I was 3 years old and Dickens by the time I was 5 — in part because he loved them and also probably because he hated “kid” books like The Berenstein Bears. I watched “M*A*S*H” with him practically from birth.
But our service to this country is the thing that truly bound us together. I was in college, 19, and directionless when I decided to join the U.S. Army Reserve (I later switched over to active duty). And my dad, 45 at the time, took a sudden interest in the information I brought home.
Within weeks after I signed my first enlistment contract, Dad accepted a commission as a 1st Lieutenant. The cut-off age at the time was 37, but because he came from a desirable field (he was a research entomologist) and he could run the required two miles in under 17 minutes (he did it in 12), he was able to get the necessary waivers.
He served for eight years and deployed once to Afghanistan. And although we never served *together*, in a way everyone who serves, serves together.
This week I took my son to see him at Jefferson Barracks — where once again he rests with others who have served. His epitaph, wholly appropriate, reads: “Fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith.”