For Immediate Release: June 16, 2012
Contact: Apryl Marie Fogel
Special Message from Congressman Gosar
“Father’s Day Message: A Special Message Honoring Dads in the Military”
By Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ-01)
Although our nation has officially observed Father’s Day for 46 years, the holiday has roots that go back more than a century. Sonora Smart Dodd first came up with the idea of a day honoring dads while listening to a mother’s day sermon and contemplating all that her father had done for her.
William Jackson Smart was a civil war veteran who raised Sonora and her five siblings on a rural farm in eastern Washington State on his own after his wife died during childbirth. Sonora chose June for the first celebration of Father’s Day in honor of William’s June birthday.
In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father's Day. But it wasn’t until 1966 that President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day. In 1972, President Richard Nixon made this holiday permanent.
As we approach Father’s Day this year, I have been touched by many stories of people who reside in my district and throughout Arizona whose fathers are currently overseas serving our nation.
Jedediah Noble is one such father from Ganado, AZ on the Navajo Nation whose story has touched my heart. Jedediah is a Marine currently serving in communications off the coast of Iran and Syria and will be away from his wife and 3-year-old daughter this father’s day.
Tashina, Jedediah’s wife, said that he is an amazing father and that it kills him to be away from his family, especially during holidays. But it has been Jedediah’s lifelong goal to be a Marine and serve his country—so he is a father and a Marine, protecting his country and caring for his daughter all at the same time.
Just two days ago their daughter, Jewel, named after the star of Bethlehem in the Bible, celebrated her third birthday. Jedediah wasn’t able to be there in person, but he is always with their family in spirit, said Tashina.
This father’s day, they will honor Jed and celebrate a man who is many things to many people. A father, a Marine, and an American hero.
Being away from their families is one of many sacrifices the men and women of our armed forces make in order to keep us safe, and on days such as Father’s Day, when we all honor our own family, it is so important that we remember the many fathers that are currently serving in the armed forces as well as those who have served in the past.
All fathers make sacrifices for their children, and being away from one’s family fighting to ensure the safety of our country is certainly a sacrifice that deserves to be recognized on this day that we have dedicated to fathers.
This Sunday, not only will I honor my own father, but I will also honor Jedediah, and every other father who has served or is serving in our Armed Forces—I hope that you will join me.