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Woke up in the Fourth Watch of the night, November 13, 2018, a couple of days after Veterans Day, thinking about what Anh Le, a freelance writer in San Francisco had asked me about my Father, Sp5 Wyley Wright, Jr. of the 114th Aviation Company of the U.S. Army, whose last mission in Vietnam was March 9, 1964 as an Honor Guard for then Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara.
I LOVE THAT MAN, My Dad! The room lit up when he walked in with his Black Self! There was no doubting, no possibility of passing. He was one of those "blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice" black men. In my eyes, Wyley Wright was a beautiful "Blue Black" as they used to say back in the day. I LOVE MY BLACK DADDY! Growing up in a time when there was no chant of "Black is Beautiful," Wyley Wright, Jr. knew the truth in his heart and he taught me that truth before I ever heard that cry of my generation.
When Wyley Wright held me, I was safe. He gave me such a feeling of safety and freedom in the world that I found myself a little too unguarded most of my life. "Guard your heart with all diligence," didn't register. My father equipped me with such a mother lode of the sense of freedom and safety, I couldn't quite understand Mother's warning, "Just because someone feels they have a right in your life doesn't mean they have a right." "Who goes there, friend or foe?" I couldn't understand the concept of someone "lying like a rug, " that my great grandma, my Dad's grandma, Moma Nora used to talk about. She hated liars! That simple metaphor of a rug lying on the floor meaning it was innate and that was all that person did, just lie, totally got by me until decades later. My father hated lies, too and in one variation of the spelling of his name, the message is Why Lie? One of the last messages he gave to me was "Why, Lie?" He taught me that the weak lie and lies though they seem strong in the moment end it futility and waste.
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My Black Daddy gave me such a feeling of safety, I had no idea how evil racism was or that it even accounted for anything in life. This from a child of the 60's who grew up in the Deep South as my father was in Vietnam. He was in the jungles of Vietnam when the rest of the family all gathered around the TV in the comfort of home in Phenix City, Alabama to hear Dr. Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech on August 28, 1963.
I can still feel, the press of my head against his muscular outer right thigh as I grabbed tightly around his leg when childish fears would creep in. To keep his blood circulation from stopping, he'd lift me up to his chest and he'd look me in the eye and say "Jackie, you have nothing to be afraid of" and for the most part, I've gone through life unafraid; ready to take on the battles of the day as my father reminded me to "fear no evil." My Black Daddy gave that to me.
It's such a rushing feeling and the thought rolling over and over in my mind, I LOVE MY DADDY. I LOVE MY BLACK DADDY. Not loved, which I could have said because he died in Vietnam when I was ten years old, the oldest of four siblings. Joe, Stanley and Phyllis were 8 years old, 5 years old, and Six Months old respectively. This feeling of ocean waves of the constant flow of thoughts of loving my Daddy has been washing over me so this morning until, I had to stop and "write the vision on the wall," Habakkuk 2.
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Anh's questions opened a floodgate of feelings, I guess because growing up we really did not talk about my father, who served in two wars and was a Fallen Hero in the last, nor our Mother, who was a beautiful dutiful wife, making sure the castle he made safe was beautiful with the right atmosphere for a warrior who not only faced the enemies of his country, but also the enemies among his countrymen and some of his own people who looked just like him.
(Click Here for the entire article: http://www.wrightnow.biz/articles_view.asp?articleid=83269&columnid=2898)
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