To my sons Will & Ryan,
We are truly blessed to live in our great country. Our founding fathers were divinely inspired men of great wisdom. The ideals and governance they conceived into our republic have led to the greatest nation in history. Our founding principles and historical documents combine to create a unique recipe for success, allowing for independence, freedom, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have the platform, but every person and generation must be accountable and responsible to our cause. Don’t let socialism or fascism ever challenge what we know to be right. There are those who will work hard to do little. You need to work tirelessly and climb mountains!
My values are strongly rooted in my faith and conservatism. I believe in hard work, accountability, small government, lower taxes, compassion, innovation, serving others, and generosity. You can do anything in our great land – and I challenge you both to be great at whatever you do. Wherever you serve (e.g. business, church, military, government, community, family), do so with tenacity, compassion, and a sense of urgency. Make a real difference in others’ lives, and you will reap the benefits. Help people by giving them a hand up and not a hand out because true compassion is doing what is best for people, not what is easiest.
Never settle for the status quo! Rock the boat, and innovate when others rest. Advocate when others are silent, and remember the priorities of life: God, family, country, and work. Be exceptional at everything, and never take “no” for an answer. As a fourth-generation firefighter, I pray you continue our family tradition of “running in when others run out.” Don’t back down from problems or challenges; be the solution.
One day, the Lord will call me home. When I stand before Him, I will be judged. Remember, it is His job alone to judge — not ours. The Lord will hopefully know my dance card was full. I worked tirelessly to preserve and protect my life priorities and our founding principles. We will get all the sleep we need in heaven, and I plan to make the most of my time on Earth.
You are leaders, no matter the situation or circumstance. Be men of strong character and integrity. When others act foolishly, be professional, and be a gentleman. It will always pay dividends to you. Remember the legacy of our founding fathers, and one day, I expect your names to be added in the history books with them. Always do more than is expected of you, and remember — it is God’s plan and our free will to implement. You have all the tools and talent you need.
I love you and will always be with you.
With unending love and pride,