Kevin: Over the course of many years of parental investment, I have tried to calculate whether or not my fatherhood has made a difference in the life of my three boys. Being fully aware of all my weaknesses, I have a tendency to remember the areas, and acts of fatherhood I'd like to take back. However, I've been reminded that in spite our shortcomings, if we will "stay the course" and love our children, and lead them to a place life and growth with God, He is so faithful to fill in the gaps. Recently, my son Keith, who serves as a 1st Lt. at the 101st Airborne, 2nd Battalion, 126 Headquarters Company, wrote a few words about his perspective on my influence in his life as a dad. I'm very humbled by his words, and truly thankful that the seeds planted in his life are now producing a wonderful crop of success. Be encouraged dads . . . our kids can succeed in spite of us, if we stay faithful!
Keith: We have seen and continue to see massive changes in social policy issues, laws, leadership, and cultural norms that all contribute into shaping the American society as a whole. Some of the transformations are good; many are not. Unfortunately, the family unit has seen immense change, alteration and modification that I believe have led to massive deterioration in the well-being of our nation and our neighbors on a global level. I am blessed to have a father who has embodied what I believe God created man to be.
As a man my father has had, and continues to have, a vast impact on my life and development as a contributing member of world. He has taught me how important it is that we do not lose sight of what men and fathers are intended to be. Men lead their families in all facets of navigating life. They provide, love, protect, teach, mentor and continuously learn. A true man is the example his household follows. A true man understands that he must restrain himself and fight if necessary. A man displays his faith puts God at the center of his home. Men guide and keep families together. Though there are a number of important values and character traits my father instilled in me and my brothers, a few are very defined and profound. Learning to work is one of those values.
GET TO WORK!!!
My father made my brothers and I work. Through childhood this, at times, felt like a curse. I can distinctly remember the first occasion I truly worked, at the age of eight, moving hundreds of 10 to 15 pound rocks in a landscaping adventure. I recall having friends who couldn’t believe the “forced labor” in which I had to engage on a seemingly weekly basis. Of course, in adolescence with responsibilities for basic home maintenance, remodeling projects and chores, I felt like Pharaoh himself had me at the end of a whip building the Pyramids. In reality my father’s generation would have thought my growing up was a vacation. Regardless, I always, for a brief moment, would step back when accomplishing some task with my father and watch in amazement at the level of determination, fortitude and drive for excellence he displayed when working. My father never cut corners and always found a way to exceed the vision he had for the end result of his work. To this day it seems like he can pretty much do anything and fix everything. Watching his example while working imprinted on me, and has allowed me to apply that same kind of drive and effort for excellence in all areas of my life. My experience working with my dad has shown me the kind of stewardship God expects from us, and the success I have experienced thus far professionally I can attribute greatly to my father and the way he taught me discipline in completing a job.