It wasn’t when he returned home from his first deployment to Iraq.  It wasn’t the day our children sprinted into his outstretched arms as the surrounding crowd cheered in the airport after his tour in Afghanistan either.  Our children were very proud of their father for serving in the military knowing how he worked tirelessly to save the lives of injured soldiers.  But, he didn’t become a hero in our children’s eyes until the day they witnessed with their own eyes their father in a life-n-death moment on our franch.  The story goes…  The first cow on our franch had given birth before our family just moments ago.  Our children had witnessed the miracle of birth, something that my husband and I dreamed years before that a franch would give to our children.  But, immediately my husband knew something had gone wrong.  All of a sudden, my husband was beside the still calf all the way across the field.  I don’t even remember how he got from next to me to that calf without what seemed like any time passing.  He yelled out that she wasn’t breathing.  I remember it being in such a way that he wasn’t yelling it at us.  He was yelling it to himself.  He later said that all he could think of was how his children couldn’t witness something so wonderful end so horribly.  All the years of study and practice in responding immediately to life-n-death situations with a calm mind and steady hands made him seem as though he had rehearsed every move he made.  He pulled away the amniotic sac that was covering the calf’s nose and preventing her first breath.  Still not breathing.  So, he effortlessly picked her up and draped her over the fence.  Holding her head upright, he cleared the fluid away from her nose and tickled her nostrils to promote her breathing.  Still not breathing.  Without hesitation, he blew his first breath into the nostrils of the calf.  Still not breathing.  Again.  Again.  Then, again.  Until the next breathe was the calf’s first.  My husband immediately carried her over to mama cow and it was amazing to see the instincts of a first-time mother cow caring for her calf.  “Daddy, you’re a hero!” yelled one, then all of our children.  They were beaming with pride over what their daddy had done.  He turned to us with a huge grin.  His beard was dripping wet with amniotic fluid tinted a dark red and who knows what else.  Without any hesitation, I kissed him anyway!  He had indeed saved her life!  Our youngest daughter to this day likes to tell of how her father became a hero when he gave, in her words, “mouth to face” to save our calf.



First Day in Life of Calf video

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