I have learned a tremendous amount from both my parents, and just because I am a parent myself does not mean the learning has stopped.
Even now, in his 80s, my Dad continues as a source of inspiration, pride and advice.
I know I can still count on him for needed insight, a pick-me-up after a hard day and a well-done after a good day. He’s also not afraid to let me know when he thinks I need to do something better, either, and let me tell you, he is usually right.
Writer Clarence Budington Kelland once said: “My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
That’s my Dad.
That’s how my four brothers and I learned how to hunt and fish, canoe and camp, watching Dad do something he loved and feeling that love rub off on us.
I am where I am now – Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – because my Dad shared with us the importance of his job and let us tag along on work-related outings.
He also showed us by his actions the importance of integrity and standing up for your people, especially when they can’t defend themselves
Thank you, Dad, for helping me grow into the person I am today.
And to all Dads out there, Happy Father’s Day!