I believe in the patriotism which my father Sgt. Homer Horton, modeled for me. As a child I often stared at his picture from Korea in full combat gear. As a preteen I saw him to and from work at Kessler Air Base in his popular uniform. As a teen I saw him bravely wearing his uniform to Germantown High School teaching R.O.T.C. when the military was unpopular. Like most young men in the early 70’s I listened to the wrong crowd. Ones who made me fail to appreciate the sacrifices he and others made and the horrors they endured. All I wanted to do with the freedom he earned me was to play my tamberine and sing in a rock and roll band. Many years have gone by and much has changed. Sometimes I play my tamberine in church. I now write and sing gospel music, worship songs, and southern gospel. For Fathers day I wrote dad a patriotic song called “Sgt, Horton’s song” and videotaped it at church the preceding Sunday. The chorus to the song goes “Were the dream of patriots who founded this country, sons and daughters of real men who fought to keep it free, were the song of freedom and noone will change our story, for there will never be a flag equal to old glory.”* Dad hasn’t heard the song yet. Friday before Fathers day Dad was admitted into the hospital. Though August has arrived he is still in rehab. It’s as if some things I always wished I said to him are still unsaid.
I don’t know what happened to that picture of him in Korea. Many memories have faded. Somehow everything becomes clear when I see my son in the uniform my father once wore. I believe in the patriotism, character, and unselfish manhood my father lived. Strong traits my son may have to emulate. I believe in the freedom of democracy. And in those who paid and are presently paying the price for it. I believe in the flag which stands for the gift and givers of freedom. Most of all I believe in the savior who shed His blood that all might be free indeed. This I believe
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