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Happy Graduation, Ellie!

I’m the lucky father of twin daughters, Ellie and Maddi, and this month, Ellie will graduate from my alma mater, the United States Naval Academy. After she does, Ellie along with her classmates, will swear an oath to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic and be commissioned as an Ensign in the US Navy. I’m so proud that she chose to follow a similar path. She’s one of the bravest people I know and has a tremendously caring heart. She is tenacious and a natural born leader.

My earliest memory of Ellie was when she was about six weeks old. It was my turn to get up and feed her and Maddi during the overnight shift. I guess I was exhausted and by the time I heard her screams of hunger, Ellie had almost worn herself out. I couldn’t get the bottle to her fast enough and I felt horrible that I wasn’t there sooner. I saw then and there that she was a fighter and would be a voice for others and for what is right.

I have witnessed Ellie’s growth these past four years. She leads with grace and courage while maintaining the standard, and it is that style which makes her an effective leader. She is an excellent listener, and because she listens and reads people well, she is better able to look out for them. Ellie’s mantra is, “To be a good officer, you must start by being a good person.” For this reason, people listen to her and follow her. They know she has a keen sense for where she is going and that she cares about their wellbeing.

Ellie will report for duty in Pensacola, FL this October for training as a Naval Flight Officer. I can’t wait to witness where her future takes her.

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