#VeteransDay2017: Army Values And Life Lessons From My Father [VIDEO]

#VeteransDay2017: Army Values And Life Lessons From My Father [VIDEO]

#VeteransDay2017: Army Values And Life Lessons From My Father [VIDEO]

Today is Veterans Day. A day we say Thank You to all the men and women who have served in our military.

Here at Victory Girls we are Veterans. We are daughters, wives, family and friends with veterans from all walks of life. We each have a story to tell about the impact veterans have made on our lives because of their service, but also because of who they are.

One such veteran is my father, Tyler Dodge.

Born in 1933 in Wheatland, Wyoming, Dad grew up on a large ranch on the Laramie Plains. His life was comprised of adventures along the Laramie River, school in a small one-room school house on the ranch, haying, and raising cattle. After high school graduation, Dad went over to the University of Wyoming. While there, Dad developed such a strong interest in skiing that he became a member of the ski club and helped put on many a ski excursion. 

In 1954 Dad enlisted in the Army. After graduation from boot camp at Fort Ord, he was stationed at Fort Carson as a wheel mechanic.

Soon afterward, Dad was assigned to the Mountain and Cold Weather Training Command (MCWTC) at Camp Hale in Colorado. The men in this elite group were taught summer and winter mountaineering and survival skills by the original 10th Mountain Division; they in turn became instructors to Special Forces groups from the Army and Air Force.

They participated in search and rescue efforts during this time as well, and were part of the group that spearheaded the recovery from the United Airlines Flight 409 crash into Medicine Bow Peak in 1955. “The type of work which you performed requires an extremely high degree of skill and confidence and you certainly displayed this to the many employees we had in the area and I can assure you they were amazed.”, W. A. Patterson, President, United Airlines.

The impact of Dad’s time in the Army and specifically with the MCWTC followed him through the rest of his life. He taught my sisters and I valuable life lessons and mentored many over the years by living the Army values every day.

  • Loyalty. Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers. …
  • Duty. Fulfill your obligations. …
  • Respect. …
  • Selfless Service. …
  • Honor. …
  • Integrity. …
  • Personal Courage.

Dad never made a big deal about his service. In fact I’d venture to guess that many in my hometown of Wheatland, Wyoming never knew that Dad had served in the military! Yet what he taught us was the embodiment of what he learned from that period in his life.

  • Listen first. Talk later.
  • If a gate is closed when you get there, close it behind you.
  • Stay on the road.
  • Respect each other. Be courteous to each other.
  • Give 100% of your effort at each and every task, no matter how distasteful it may be.
  • Be a self-starter. If you see something that needs doing, do it. Don’t wait to for someone else to tell you what to do.
  • Don’t ever cut corners. Do the job right or don’t do it at all.
  • Your word is your bond. Live with integrity.
  • Be strong and keep moving ahead even in the midst of adversity.

Dad didn’t wallow in what if’s. He didn’t whine about the cattle getting out or the machinery breaking down at the absolute wrong times. He didn’t quit when things for whatever reason went sideways.

Be kind. Be humble. Don’t brag.

Dad accomplished a great deal in his life. He mapped out ski areas, was instrumental in building one, provided his expertise at search and rescue, built a thriving ranch and construction business from the ground up, raised a family and was a devoted husband to my mother for 50 years.

My Dad was a husband, a father, a mentor, friend, a soldier, but most of all he was an American through and through. He passed away on April 10, 2017, but the life lessons he taught me, that he taught all of us will never be forgotten.

To each and every one of our veterans out there, we are thankful and grateful for all you’ve done and all you are doing now. It is an honor to know you.

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4 Comments
  • Doug Purdie says:

    It’s an honor to be a citizen of the same country as you and your father. Thank You for sharing.

  • parker says:

    Thanks for telling us about your father.

    My father served in the Pacific Theater 42-44 on the island hopping campaign. An uncle was in North Africa and Italy. Actually everyone was involved in WW2, even on the home front. One of my uncles who lived in Michigan was deferred because his dairy farm provided milk that went to a factory that in turn supplied dairy produces to a large military bas.

    This is special day set aside to honor all who servved, including those who never came hom.

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