Tech. Sgt. Chad Brady, 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron received the distinct honor of being recognized as D-M’s Father of the Year.
Brady was greeted by a roomful of his family and squadron teammates at the 355th EMS building here May 10, where it was announced that he had been selected as the award recipeint.
“It was a huge surprise,” Brady said. “My leadership had everyone going like we were supposed to have a meeting. When I walked into the room, everyone was clapping. It took me a minute to realize they were there for me. Once I found out the reason why, I was speechless and overcome with emotion.”
This opportunity came about when the Father’s Day Council Tucson wished to recognize a military service member at their annual Father of the Year Awards.
Col. Kevin Blanchard, 355th Fighter Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Dawna Cnota, 355th FW command chief, also attended the announcement.
Cnota, who helped organize the panel to review the nomination packages, stated that Brady’s nomination stood out as a “shining example of the complete Airman we want all our folks to be.”
Cnota pointed out several things in Brady’s nomination package, which was written by his wife, Staff Sgt. Gabrielle Morlock, also from the 355th EMS, that made it stand out.
Those things included Brady making it a priority to maintain a good relationship with his ex-wife, for the sake of his their two sons; setting up visits with Morlock’s son’s biological father; identifying and overcoming personal crises, then using his experience to help others; and going to school and volunteering in the community despite having to act as a single father to three boys while his wife was deployed.
Cnota was not the only person to praise Brady.
“I selected Tech. Sgt. Brady, because despite the long hours at work, separation from his wife due to deployment and his personal adversities, he managed to create a warm, loving and safe environment for his three sons,” said Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Ross, 355th EMS first sergeant. “He became a role model. He took the negatives in his life and turned them into something positive.”
The praise and respect did not only come from the 355th FW, but also from D-M’s tenant units.
“I saw the same thing the other chiefs did,” said Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, 55th Electronic Combat Squadron command chief. “What a great story of resiliency and selflessness. To remain behind with three children while mom is deployed was practically enough by itself, in my mind.”
Brady does not take the praise all for himself and shares the spotlight with his wife.
“It really shows a lot about her and what we go through as family,” Brady said. “She just returned from a long deployment, and one of the first things she does when she gets back is try to get me recognized for things I have done.”
Lee Shaw, Father’s Day Council Tucson chair, Steve Rosenberg, founding chair, and Dave Sitton, executive board member, were also in attendance to congratulate Brady. The Father’s Day Council Tucson will honor Brady along with four other fathers from the Tucson community at the 19th annual Father of the Year Awards in June 2013.
“It is a great feeling,” Brady said. “There are many hard working and deserving parents out there, but to be the one that was chosen is an indescribable feeling. I was awestruck when they told me. This is without a doubt the highest honor I have received while serving in the Air Force.”