I learned to cuss from my dad.
Actually, that’s giving him short shrift. What I really learned from the retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel was how to speak my mind regardless of consequences. One of my colleagues said recently that I cuss a lot on Facebook. (Which probably sets a terrible example for my niece, but she’s a mature young woman who probably realizes that her guncle is a horrendous pottymouth and that she can express herself much more eloquently without resorting to four-letter words. Right?) At one point, when I was much, much (much) younger than I am now, my father told me that my mood was always written right on my face, and eventually, I took that as a sign that I should just speak my mind because I wasn’t going to be very good at hiding it anyway. Of course, he taught me that by example, because my dad was always willing to tell anyone (regardless of their rank) exactly what he thought. Rickers, apparently, were never destined for diplomacy.
And since it’s Veterans Day as well as the day after the Marine Corps birthday, even though he will not likely read this, I just want to say again, Thanks, Dad—for answering the call to duty, and for not getting shot in the process.