Our dad was much older than us, and sometimes I would envy friends with younger parents, who tended to be much easier on the kids. He understood the role of the father to be very strict, and that is how he was. His life was not easy. Born in 1910, he grew up amidst difficulties and problems of a young country. Having wanted to become an artist, he, instead, had to work in the military, which controlled every moment of his life, as well as that of his family.
His proudest moments were on Victory Days, when he would take out a black leather folder and show my sister and I his medals. My favorite one was the sharp-cornered "Order of the Red Star," which depicted a little figure of a soldier with a rifle. Heavy and brightly colored with red enamel, it was different from the other medals. It had the third highest ranking in military orders and was awarded for military action. Dad was very proud of it, though he never told us what act he received it for–veterans didn't really like to talk about the war.