I have always had a longing to be just like my father. I can clearly recall the times when he
would play country music in his Jeep and we would always sing along together. I loathed
country music, yet I found myself listening to it because I wanted to be just like him. I
remember mimicking my father’s country clothing style as a young child when I would sport
pink cowgirl boots to match his boots, even though I would have preferred to wear the light-up
Sketchers. On a deeper level, however, I wanted to be like my father and possess the
characteristics and traits that he possessed.
I could talk about the abundance of times he made me laugh, or the numerous times he showed
comprehensiveness in caring for me and helping me through life’s problems. I could say that all
the ladies had a secret crush on my dad because of his charming looks; I could say that many
respected my father. However, these characteristics are not what defined my father. He was, in
all respects, selfless. My father took the pain of death so that other people could have the chance
of a secure life with an optimistic future. He did not even know if he would make it home, but
he knew that lives of other was more important. As I get older, I begin to grow more and more
selfless in aspiration of being at least half of as an inspiration as he was.
In my endeavors to accomplish my goal, I have undoubtedly demonstrated certain aspects of this
trait. Someone who is selfless continually is more concerned with the needs and wants of others
than of his or her own. As I think of ways that I have accomplished this, several incidences arise.
I have donated blood to the point of losing consciousness several times, because I feel I can
suffer the black out for someone to have the chance of life. I have given all of my money to the
local church at times knowing that several people in my community have a need that is
exponentially more important than the desire I have for a new outfit. I have given up my
weekends in order to raise three children that may have hope for a future because of my
dedication and devotedness to them. I have donated more than a foot of my hair because I feel
that the most rewarding gift to give someone is the feeling of beauty and completeness.
My father passed away April 22, 2012 in Afghanistan. It was the most devastating moment of
my life. I looked up to my father with such awe and aspiration and I am so honored that he is
and was my dad. He gave his life for so many and I have become such a strong person through
his death. I have spoken to hundreds of people about the sacrifice he made. I try each day to
honor my father and make him proud through each and every thing that I do.
In all that I do to honor and resemble my father, there is one thing that humanly, I cannot be.
There is no way I can possibly be an angel like he is. I cannot grow a pair of wings, I cannot fly
as fast as the wind will take me, and I cannot understand the speed or the grace of which they travel. However, I can do something pretty close. I can learn to fly an airplane. Oftentimes,
when I am having a difficult time handling with the loss of my father, I speak to him. I go
outside, lift my hands and speak. I look up to the prodigious sky with admiration as my hands
attempt to reach just an inch closer to Heaven. Oh, but if I could aviate an airplane! If I could
fly an airplane, I would be just an inch clo9ser to becoming an angel and a mile closer to
Heaven. I could soar among the clouds; I could see Earth’s beauty encompass me. If I could fly
an airplane, I would be a milestone closer to my father in Heaven.
It is fascinating to me that in order to fly, one cannot have items that weigh him down. I would
be able to get rid of all my struggles and my hardships. I would be able to surrender the flaws of
the Earth to witness dreamlike qualities of the sky. The sky also offers such a beauty that makes
life so carefree and elegant.
Aside from being closer to Heaven, I aspire to step out of my comfort zone into a new realm of
learning. I have never flown an airplane and I never thought that I ever would. Fortunately, with
this program (Teens-In-Flight), I will be able to. I wish not only to achieve greater; I want to be
greater. This program is what is what I need in order to grow physically and emotionally as a
person. The program will not only teach me skills that are useful in everyday life; I will be able
to stand apart from my peers in a way that puts me high above my other classmates, especially
when applying for college.
The thought that I would have ever been offered this incredible opportunity will forever resonate
within me as I write with honor and privilege to even be acknowledged by a program as
tremendous as this one. I truly appreciate the hard work and dedication each individual has in
order to make it possible for me to have an experience unlike any other. I wish more than
anything that my father was still here with me, but I am so fortunate that organizations, like this
one, are present to assist me in conquering my dreams and helping me soar to new heights, both
figuratively in my future endeavors, and realistically, when I actually have the opportunity to fly
an airplane. I am tremendously grateful for those warriors who have fought and came home and
those whose souls and spirits live within us as we grieve their deaths. Although I physically
cannot get to Heaven, I can get a little closer to it. I can feel that moment of passion when the
pains of the world are below me. I can only picture in my head the feeling that I would get if I
could fly angelically through the sky, achieving that longing that I have so long desired to be like
my father. With the help and assistance of the program, I can finally say with eagerness and
honor “Watch out daddy, I’m going to learn how to fly with my pair of wings!