I would like to take this opportunity to wish all fathers in the Royal Bahamas Defence Force a very Happy Father’s Day!

A story is told of a father, who became very frustrated and eventually gave up after several failed attempts to put a torn map of the world back together again. His young son then gave it a try, and after a short while was successful in accomplishing what his father had failed to do. With a look of surprise, the father asked his son how did he do it. The songleefully replied, “You see, Dad, there was a picture of a man on the back of the map. After putting the man back together, the whole world came together.”

Like the man on the back of the map, fathers are the cornerstones of the family, and the family is the foundation upon which nations stand . When fathers fall short of fulfilling their roles, families and nations come apart. The very nature of our work as members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force is very similar to the responsibilities of fathers.

Our motto, ‘Guard Our Heritage’ is really then a mandate for us to protect both the homeland and the home front, if our efforts are to be meaningful. The sacrifices we make–whether on land or on the high seas or in the air or with our Ranger (youth) program or for the good of our families–are therefore vital for the long term success of our nation. Our responsibilities are therefore doubled.

For those of us, who are struggling with the demands of work and the challenges of fatherhood, be encouraged. Don’t allow past mistakes or circumstances beyond our control to hold us back; rather, let’s use the lessons from the past to propel us forward towards becoming better fathers in the future.

I therefore thank you, our spouses, families and loved ones, who have also sacrificed so much for us to be away from the home front. And I encourage you to take time out this Father’s Day to reflect on the profound role fathers were meant to have in your lives, and the lives of your children, and to support them in fulfilling it.

As you do, it is my hope that we, as fathers, would recommit ourselves to doing all we possibly can to truly become a source of inspiration, strength and direction for our families regardless of our shortcomings or prevailing circumstances for the greater good of our nation.

Once again, on behalf my wife and myself, I wish you all a most Happy and Blessed Father’s Day.

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