June 21, 2009
10:27 AM EST
10:27 AM EST
On the 100th anniversary of Father's Day, the President writes a piece on fatherhood in Parade Magazine talking about his own life and highlighting the responsibilities all fathers must step up to:
In many ways, I came to understand the importance of fatherhood through its absence — both in my life and in the lives of others. I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill. We can do everything possible to provide good jobs and good schools and safe streets for our kids, but it will never be enough to fully make up the difference.
That is why we need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one.
On Friday the President hosted some well-known fathers and everyday dads from across the country to discuss what fathers are doing to strengthen themselves, their families and their communities. One of the guests at that event was Chief Quartermaster John Lehnen, who adds his thoughts to the President's in this video:
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Chief Lehnen is a devoted husband and father of four special needs children, and with over 10 years of service, he has shown extraordinary dedication to his family and country. That dedication has been honored with multiple awards including the Sailor of the Quarter and Navy-Corps Achievement and Commendation Medals and the 2009 Military Fatherhood Award from National Fatherhood Initiative. Chief Lehnen also cares deeply about his fellow sailors and their families, encouraging sailors to participate in the United Through Reading campaign and family readiness groups.
Related Topics: Working Families