For the past six years, my father has been a correctional officer. No this doesn't mean he drives a fancy police car and gets to go on chases. What this job entails is much more. My father works specifically with prisoners, those already convicted. He guards them. And this job can be very dangerous. Correctional officers (C.O.s) can be attacked by inmates, mocked, and possibly killed at work. But these brave men (and women) put their life on the line every day of the year.

It isn't like other jobs where they can get holidays off, because they can't. Sometimes they will have to work on Thanksgiving or Christmas, and quite frankly, it absolutely blows. Growing up was tough, because at times it felt like I only had one parent due to my dad working the night shift, which means he is gone from 11pm-7am. This requires him to sleep during the day, therefore him sometimes missing volleyball games, track meets, or other significant school events.

But this is the side people don't see. With my dad being a C.O. most think that we live a life of luxury, because this job is high paying. Although my father does get paid well, that doesn't mean we live with the newest and best items. We have learned how to save, appreciate what we have, and when my parents did splurge, it was on something we needed; like a new washer or refrigerator. Yes, my sister and I would get nice clothes, but what people didn't know is that most of the time we received them as presents, or went to a thrift-store.

I was always okay with this, it made me appreciative, grateful, and thankful of how my parents treated me. I know that my dad works this job for multiple reasons. Maybe it's because he enjoys the quiet drive to work, maybe because he feels empowered at his job, or maybe it's because he loves that he still gets to protect his country, after fighting in Desert Storm. No matter what it is, I know that I will always support my father and pray that every morning he comes home safe.

Thanks for all your hard work dad, I love you.