It was a father-son story unlike any other I had ever heard. The boy had given a soldier $20 he had found in a restaurant parking lot, and wrapped it in a note. The soldier, who was there with his family, had reminded him of his dad. In the note he said, “My Dad was a soldier. He is in heaven now.” This young man went on to say he wanted to pass his good fortune forward. If you missed the short piece on Sunday Morning, you can see it here.
He did this in memory of his father, a soldier who was killed when he was just five weeks old. This young boy loved his father so much even though he had no memory of him at all. Obviously, his mother had done a wonderful job telling her son about the father he never knew. A man who died serving his country in a time of war. The boy kept his father’s dog tags and wedding ring on a chain and showed them proudly to the host.
Even though this father and son didn’t have the day to day contact that builds a relationship, even though his dad couldn’t take him fishing or to a ballgame, and although his dad could never tell him when he was doing a great job or correct him when he strayed--he had a hero, and it was his Dad! He had a model to strive for which gave him direction.
As a father, grandfather, and writer on fatherhood topics, this story struck me deeply for it showed how strong the ‘Power of Dadhood’ could be. As the story unfolded, I could feel my eyes well up. After this fatherless boy had honored his father, he wanted to go see his father’s grave site. When the photo of this young man hugging his father’s tombstone came on the screen, I could hear teardrops landing on the stiff white collar of my dress shirt. He proved to me again what I have believed so strongly for so long. Young men and young women need the love, guidance, and attention of their parents. They need someone of honor to look up to.
Myles Eckert was a ‘Gold Star’ son, a Gold Star being the symbol for a military member who has lost their life in service and defense of their country. This very young man earned every bit of that Gold Star and gave honor to it.
We can all learn from this story. There are kids that don’t fully appreciate their parents and what they do for them. There are parents that don’t realize the powerful influence they have over their kids and fail to give what they have to offer.
The Easter service that told the story of ‘The Resurrection’ at my mother’s church was beautiful and inspiring. It told us that death is not the end of one’s influence in life. But it wasn’t the only beautiful and inspiring story I heard that day, and it taught a similar lesson. This young man taught me that ‘Power of Dadhood” is just a subset of the ‘Power of Love’!
Thanks to CBS Sunday Morning for bringing us this story! <http://cbsn.ws/21Ot0I9>