504 Java Profile

504 Java Profile
Two of my favorite things

Monday, November 12, 2012

On Veterans Day and Richard A. Jackson, USMC

This is Veterans Day and I am deeply grateful for all of the military men and women who have defended our country across the centuries.  The sacrifice is great--I have helped moms grieve the loss of sons and daughters over the years in ministry.  My age places me between Vietnam and the conflicts in the Middle East and I never served.  But my Dad was a Marine.

According to history.com, The United States Marine Corps began with a resolution providing for the founding of the Continental Marines on November 10, 1775.  The Marines were sort of the combat version of the navy, to engage in ship-to-ship fighting, provide landing forces, and to generally keep order and discipline. John Adams signed the order, stating that "two Battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces for the recently formed Continental Navy. The Marines have played a significant role in every military conflict in which the United States of American has engaged.  I celebrate the anniversary of their founding.

I celebrate because another anniversary is coming up. My Dad passed away in November of 2000.  Dad was a Marine.  He was an aircraft mechanic aboard the USS Boxer and he was a drill instructor for recruits (his DI hat is buried with him). All this happened before I knew him, but I think I knew him as a marine.  His style as a father was disciplined, but in control.  He liked order, but he had the adventurous spirit of one who might storm a beach at any time. He gave me my love for fixing things that are broken or that are not yet broken. He taught me about humility and patience and spending time without a lot of words. He passed his work ethic along to me. He loved his wife of more than 40 years and it showed as he related to her. He loved us kids and he loved his grandkids.  Dad was an odd mixture of gruff disciplinarian and wise mentor.  He taught us that we would probably get what we worked for and that we would have to work for what we wanted.

Even though our shared faith was late in his life, he laid the foundations as a god-fearing father.

The Marine Corps Motto is "Semper Fi," a Latin phrase which means, "Always Faithful." My USMC Dad  lived out the code. 


  1. I admit, I'm a little teary reading this. Missing Pop this holiday season ... has it really been 12 years? He would be humbled (and yet a bit proud) by this fitting tribute. You're a good son!

  2. Thanks bro. So many of my memories of Dad are kind of vicarious. I remember them because you remember them. You give me such good perspective on our Dad.

  3. Very well written. I remember how much he loved us grand kids and didn't say it in so many words, but you could see it on his face and in his eyes when he spoke with us. He enjoyed showing us things and fixing all the stuff we broke. He got me interested in electric trains. I remember him looking on with a smile as we slid down the icy driveway on trash can lids having to bail at the last second to avoid the camper. Lastly, I remember as a young kid he would slide that Marines ring off and twirl it for us on the table. It was the simple things. I love and miss him dearly. I guess in this case it would be okay for an Air Force guy to say it, so " Semper Fi" in honor of grand-daddy.

  4. Hello,

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could email me?

    I look forward to hearing from you,


    1. I just saw your comment as I published another blog--I apologize for ignoring you. How can I help?