After the very “interesting” 2016 most everyone is excited about the New Year. As for me, I received my New Year’s present earlier in the week when a handsome young man of 18 volunteered for the US Army and came to see me for his qualifying physical exam.
“What made you want to become a soldier?” I asked.
“My dad was in the Army, and ever since I can remember I always wanted to be just like him. So, I’m going to start living my dream.”
“Wow! That’s the best answer anyone ever gave me. Is your dad still in?”
“Nope, he’s retired from the Army and is a police man. That’s part of my plan, too.”
“You must have a great dad,” I replied.
“To me, he’s the greatest.”
Later in the conversation I asked him the required questions including, “Have you ever had any encounters with the law?”
“Heck no. If any of my friends asks me to do things that might be against the law, I tell them I don’t want to do anything that might make it impossible for me to get into the Army. They know that now, and don’t ask me anymore.
“So far that’s kept me out of trouble.”
After the exam I congratulated him for volunteering and said, “Thanks for what you are doing. Keep us safe. Keep us strong. And keep us free.
“Shake shake your dad’s hand for me and thank him for being such a great dad. Tell him, too, that the world needs more men like him. And that I am looking at one of them right now.”
I have never met his dad, but I know he is a man of character and so is his son.
I have spent most of my adult life helping parents, especially dads, teach their sons and daughters to be men and women of character by being the person they want their kids to become. So let me say it once again: Be the person you want your child to become.