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LETTER: Dads make tremendous contribution

To the editor:

A good father is faithful to his children and always to their mother. Our nation has been rattled with divorce for decades now. This has an effect. As a father and grandfather, I know first-hand the challenges that have to be made. Training to become a father begins in the home where love and respect should exist.

My wife grew up on a farm in Minnesota. She recalls the following traits of her father — honesty, hard-working, loving, gentle, kind. He made sure that he and family were in church and served God. He was a deacon and served on pulpit committees. She saw him daily read his Bible and devotions, as well as sharing it with family.

On this special Sunday, which is set aside to honor fathers, I offer a prayer.

"Lord, we pray specifically for fathers and fatherhood across our land. Your word clearly instructs fathers to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). God, we thank you for the men who are leading according to your statutes and the ones who are laying their lives down for your purposes. We pray that you'll continue to use these men to lead their families and other men. We pray you'll strengthen the fathers of our nation and that you'll continue to empower churches, organizations and individuals to invest in fathers and fatherhood for the sake of our children."

My father, Major Lee E. Odell, a career Army officer, was both tough and tender. He served our country honorably for 22 years. He was a faithful husband and father. I never saw him drunk. We fished together, went bowling together, went to the San Francisco Giants and Oakland games. He always wanted the best for us five kids. We all got a college education. We are survivors.

Greg Odell,

Alexandria, MN