Giving it away was like I was saying goodbye to my dad all over again. And the man accepting it was quite aware that he was sharing the moment with me.
With a tear in his eye, the man said that he'd be honored to wear this jacket. With a lump in my throat, I said that I was happy to be passing it along to such a deserving recipient.
The man then said that his son was affiliated with the local VFW and that, when it was time for this jacket to move on to another home in the future, his son would see that it was passed along to another worthy veteran - and that efforts would be made to maintain that tradition going forward.
My brothers and I will carry happy memories of our dad with us for the rest of our lives. It's good to know that this more tangible aspect of our dad's life and service to his country will likely be passed on from veteran to veteran as the spirits of each former owner join forces to go along with it.
From those who served to those who served and into the indefinite future. It's a comforting scenario to envision - and it all started with my dad.