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    Posted November 9, 2012 by
    North Dakota
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Veterans in focus

    Remembering My Favorite Veteran

    My grandpa, a Korean War veteran, taught me many things that I will never fully be able to put into words. I spent many weekends with him and my grandmother when I was young, and he has always been the most influential man in my life. He taught me how to work hard, and he taught me how to ride a horse on his farm in North Dakota. He taught me the importance of my vote. Even though he was a lifelong Republican and I am a Democrat, he told me it did not really matter as long as I voted. He taught me the value of family. With the help of my grandmother he raised three wonderful children, and he saved his best hugs for his grandchildren. There was nothing he enjoyed more than sitting down to a meal with the whole family present. He taught me to respect myself, my family, my community and my country through his service in the Navy and his years in the North Dakota legislature.
    My grandpa passed away almost a month ago. He taught me the most in the last few weeks of his life. He stopped speaking, and he was living in a nursing home near the rest of my family. He communicated with the thumbs-up sign. Even though his situation was not ideal, and it was obvious his body was failing, I never once saw a thumbs-down sign. Each time one of the nurses came into his room in the nursing home, he would reach out to hold their hand like he was thanking them. Even during a tough situation, when he was uncomfortable, he would smile for his family and friends. I hope he knows how grateful I am for each moment I had with him. He is my inspiration, and I will always try to walk in his dignified footsteps.
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