Father; male parent.
Today, Memorial Day, I honor my makua kāne, my dad, Shermaih Kahuakai Iaea, Jr. Also known as Jerry Boy. Bulla. Sarge. He passed away 7 years ago next month. My mom and my brothers always told me I was my dad’s pet. A spoiled brat, thanks to him. I grateful accept the title. He gifted me with a love for who I am as a Hawaiian, a female, always making me feel like I could accomplish anything.
My makua kāne joined the army while still in high school (when you naughty at KS and they give you the boot, well, options are limited). And remained in the Army until I was a Sophomore in high school. During his military career he served in the Korean War (his brother, Alvin, is MIA from that war) and went to Vietnam twice while I was in school, once in third grade and again in middle school. In his later years, my makua kāne was active in a couple of veteran groups (Veterans of Foreign Wars was one, as I recall). Attending meetings and participating in parades kept him active. I am grateful for that.
Whenever I see military vets in parades (anywhere really), tears come readily to my eyes. A mere commercial or news story of military personnel coming home from faraway places to be with their families again cause a flood of emotions. I am so grateful to all those who join the military services, willing to fight for freedom, no matter what the cost. I am eternally thankful.
Aloha au iā ‘oe, e ku’u makua kāne.