Fathers make a difference

Photos provided by families
Story by Emily McCormick
Family Advocacy
Rick Schott and BellaEric Chan and EverettEfren Renales and Romeo, Ryan and ElianaSeth Featherston and Kasey IIZachary Burke and LandonBen Cameron and RogerChristopher Johnson and CharlotteDavid Weller, AJ and EmmaEdwin Ortiz and EthanRüdiger Lang, Konstanza and Franziska

Father’s Day is a day we pay tribute to dads. Perhaps we buy a card, make a phone call or get a gift honoring a dad in our life. Dads of course come in all forms — a father can be biological, adoptive, stepfather, mentor or teacher.

Too often we overlook the importance of fathers in the lives of children. Fathers are essential to the healthy growth and development of children and the relationship developed between father and child will impact relationships throughout the rest of a child’s life.

Fathers play a huge role in the lives of all of their children — sons and daughters. It is the quality of the relationship and the strength of involvement that is the crucial factor — not whether they live under the same roof. Military families are often affected by stretches of separation. For military fathers, keeping a connection with their children is especially important during long periods of separation.

There are ample opportunities for men to step up and into the lives of children without fathers or those without a father figure. The term “double duty dad” refers to a man who seeks to mentor other fathers or build a relationship with a child who may need a father figure. Many men who had no biological father in the home can identify someone who was significant to them as a child — a church youth leader, teacher, coach, family friend, relative or neighbor. This relationship can be life changing and make a positive impact to help a young man move into manhood.

So on this special day, we honor dads. Whatever kind of role you play in a child’s life, we thank you for all you do and for your special place in our lives. Happy Father’s Day!

There are great resources in our community to support parents. Family Advocacy, New Parent Support and the Airman and Family Readiness Center are all resources available for guidance and support.