Early in the morning, there are familiar sounds in the distance: the buzz of his clippers, the on and off of running water, the light press of footsteps on the creaky wood in the hallway. I ease out of bed and quietly stand in the doorway to watch him dress, piece by piece, methodically. He dresses with most of the lights off, as to not wake the boys, stands in the glow of a single dull bulb in the closet. His wrist wrapped in a crisp white shirt warm and freshly pressed, his Army “dress blues” decorated with ribbons, combat badges, shiny gold buttons. His black patent shoes shine without a fingerprint or a smudge. His dark beret signaled with a flash, folds crisp just above his brow. All together now soldier, a modest man now in uniform stands proudly in front of me, leans in with a kiss, then leaves before the sun comes up.