March 17, 2015
Set in Stone
One of the most influential people in my life for me is my father Willian S. Diehl or also affectionately known as Pop. I am fortunate to have been raised and taught by a man like my father. The type of person, husband, and parent I have aspired to be is due in large part to the way I was encouraged, mentored and taught by Pop. He was a wise teacher who instilled in me the importance of working hard and being honest. He taught me that if I desired something strongly enough, I could with honest hard work, earn whatever I was seeking and be successful in all of my endeavors. I am sure my life has been profoundly influenced because of his ...view middle of the document...
When he was finally able to be the casual practical always neat dresser, the Pop I will always remember. Dad never wore any jewelry except for a watch he was always practical.
Dad was a loving husband and father with a great sense of humor. He was always a gracious man and gentleman, but at times set in his ways, a creature of habit and not big on change. Dad was very much a loyal hard working generous family man, happily married to my mother for over sixty years. Except for not being big on change. These are some more of his great qualities I strive to emulate and practice throughout my life.
One of the biggest talents of my father I miss were his engineering skills. Many years ago when I purchased my first property which was a small restaurant. My dad helped me brainstorm so many ideas on how to turn what was then just an ice cream stand into a full-fledged restaurant and lounge. He was always able to find a solution to all the building challenges that I encountered. He would work his regular full- time job during the week then on weekends, he spent his free time with me working on and building the fledgling restaurant. Turning that little ice cream stand into a successful business that would last the test of time and thrive for twenty two years. Even many years after his retirement he was still there working with me at the restaurant doing everything from helping in the kitchen to planning out renovations and improvements putting to work those engineering skills.
Dad was always calm and strove to teach me and my brother this same attribute not to panic under stressful situations. A trait that would serve me well in the future and would help me a lot on my future combat tours overseas. I am most appreciative of the fact that after twenty two years in business, I finally sold the restaurant and went back into the Army. Once again my father was always there for me. During all four tours of duty to Bosnia, Kosovo and then Afghanistan twice and at the same time my brother was fighting in Ramadi Iraq. Even with both of his boys overseas at the same time, my Pop kept an upbeat positive “they will be OK” attitude. My father and mother took care of my children and kept the household running and in good repair. My father and mother even kept their calm when they talked to me during a rocket attack. I would call home every Sunday when I could. On this particular Sunday while on the phone with them. Our forward operating base was hit with rocket fire, rapid consecutive explosions. I abruptly obviously had to go to check the status of my own soldiers. He must have been panicked until my return call. But none the less for my mom’s sake kept his calm for...