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  • Lesson Learned: My Dad and President Bill Clinton

    Growing up my father led by example. He was a Colonel in the Air Force, a devout christian, and a registered Democrat. Although I didn’t even know he was a Democrat until my early 20s, as my dad never discussed which party he belonged to or which Presidential candidates he was voting for. My dad merely discussed the importance of character and social responsibility and then lived it.

    This is one of my favorite pictures that hangs in my dad’s office. President Clinton had come to visit Patrick Air Force Base and my dad had the pleasure of meeting his Commander in Chief. President Clinton visited in June 1996 to attend the memorial service for the 19 Airman that were killed when a gasoline truck exploded outside the Khobar Towers housing area on King Abdul Aziz Air Base in Saudi Arabia. I remember my dad calling me in Tucson to tell me how the President was personable, compassionate, and very engaging, just as he came across on my 19″ color TV during his speeches.

    What is interesting to me about this picture 16 years later is that my dad did not vote for President Clinton, yet he has an enormous amount of respect for him. This picture is treasured and hangs just above his desk. My father never said a foul word about him or any other elected official (or candidate) to my recollection.

    I called my dad and asked him to send me this picture. I then asked him about the elections and if he had any wise words for me. He stated, “My advice has not changed. I still believe in respecting our President and Presidential candidates and their families. I genuinely desire our elected officials to succeed, even if I didn’t vote for them, because that is what is best for our family and country. I will also continue to encourage you and others to never miss an opportunity to vote.” Yes.

    I have nothing to add. My dad said it all.

    Today I will vote. And despite the outcome, President Obama or Governor Romney, you have my full support. Our country needs you to succeed.

    So get out and vote and then have a terrific day!

    Blessings sweet friends,



    Lynn D

    What a great attitude. Thanks for sharing in this decisive election season. God loves both candidates.

    6 November 2012 at 6:29 am Reply
    Lisa Muniz

    I wish everyone had that attitude and respect that you do. The last four years proves that many, MANY people can not rise above partisan politics to help our country. However the election turns out, I hope that will be a change we see in the future.

    6 November 2012 at 8:02 am Reply

    Great picture Jenny! Great words your dad said. I wish everyone had that attitude.

    I had the pleasure of seeing former President Clinton last week and listen to his speech at a grassroots event in FL.

    6 November 2012 at 8:08 am Reply

      He’s a tremendous speaker and I would have loved to have heard him in person.

      9 November 2012 at 4:07 pm Reply
    Jen Russell

    Thank you for sharing this. I just wrote about the election on my blog and thought it was really clunky. I couldn’t get out what I wanted. Your post made me feel so much better. I agree with your dad and I thank you for sharing.

    6 November 2012 at 8:55 am Reply
    Jenny S

    Thank you for putting into words what I’ve so long had in my heart.

    6 November 2012 at 8:57 am Reply
    Jessica B

    Thank you for sharing! This is a great story.

    6 November 2012 at 9:45 am Reply
    Jennifer Woodbury

    YES! Thank you so much for sharing this.

    6 November 2012 at 11:05 am Reply

    I enjoyed the article. I told the Soldiers in my unit that no matter their choice of party, it was important to also vote.

    6 November 2012 at 11:10 am Reply

    Awesome. My Dad is a retired Army Colonel. Yay, Dads.

    6 November 2012 at 3:32 pm Reply

    Wow! sweet cousin, this is a lovely piece. I would never have guessed that uncle Tom was a democrat! ;-) but truly your description of his integrity and dedication to just being startlingly good regardless, rings true. Not just from what I know of him, but also- his sister is just the same…<3 wishing you well…

    6 November 2012 at 10:29 pm Reply

      Thanks Leah. My dad is definitely who I get my moderate stance/views from. I honestly see both sides which often leaves me in a pretty lonely place, with most people having very polar views.
      Proud of my dad and aunt. We most definitely are blessed to have them both.
      It would be really neat to connect some time in person. I would love catching up with our lives and for you to meet my kids. -Jenny

      9 November 2012 at 4:09 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing this piece and your Dad’s advice. Now see, I knew we had a lot in common (I’m a military brat too, Dad is a retired Marine captain; my Dad was a registered Democrat; and my Dad taught me many lessons about character, never by lecturing, always by action and letting me see what it meant to have character).

    It is a real shame that the “politics” and elections have taken over simply getting down to business and making our country the best it can be. No matter who we vote for, they cannot improve things by themselves. It takes everyone, working together, to make that a reality. Until “what’s good for the country and its people” is more important than the politics and “winning,” it won’t change.

    Today I saw the election results from a small cafe in Western Thailand. The local people, most villagers from a very small town, seemed to know a lot about our government and the elections. They were watching to see who had won and I’d be willing to be many knew as much about our political system as many Americans do, perhaps even more! I was sad to see that so many fewer voted in this election than in the last. That tells me that people don’t value the privilege so many around the world are not granted, and that they don’t think their vote matters. That’s not good.

    This is the second election that has taken place while I have been out of the country, but I was sure to vote via absentee ballot before leaving the country. It is a privilege to hear our voices heard. We all must remember that.

    7 November 2012 at 9:19 am Reply
    Dawn McFarland

    Thanks for this! I just found it today via Becky Higgins. She was actually posting a different post of yours, lol. This is how we as Americans should be. Made me proud to read this! And I shared it on my FB page.

    8 November 2012 at 11:22 am Reply

      Thanks Dawn for sharing this post. I truly treasure this picture and my dad’s words. Welcome to this community – I think you will find the readers (and their comments) to be so very wise and friendly.

      9 November 2012 at 4:11 pm Reply

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