Honoring Our Military Dads
On June 8, 2010, National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) honored outstanding military father, Master Sergeant Rick Marston of the United States Air Force, at the 2010 “Military Fatherhood Award™ Ceremony: A Celebration of Military Fathers and Families," sponsored by TriWest Healthcare Alliance.
The Military Fatherhood Award™, established in 2007 by NFI and founding sponsor, Lockheed Martin, is presented annually to a military dad who displays an ongoing commitment and dedication to his child(ren), makes extraordinary efforts to father from a distance when deployed, successfully balances military and family life, and makes an effort to mentor other military fathers and/or military children who are separated from their fathers.
MSgt Marston was selected from a pool of over 500 nominees representing every branch of the armed services. Nominations were submitted by spouses, co-workers, children, and friends.
MSgt Marston is a seventeen year veteran of the Air Force and is currently based at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. He and his wife Jean have three boys: Jake (age 10) and twins Tyler and Brandon (age 6). From the time his sons were born, Marston immersed himself in their development – reading with them, helping with homework, playing games, going on adventures, and giving presentations at their school on being an Airman. While deployed, Marston makes videotapes of himself reading bedtime stories, and maintains steady contact using Skype, email, and text messaging. He also makes arrangements with family and friends to check on Jean and the boys regularly and provide help as needs arise.
Marston has also become a father-figure and role model to his teenage step-brother Matt. After the death of Matt’s parents, Marston invited Matt to live with his family, taught him how to drive, helped him find a part-time job, and showed him how to handle finances.
Outside of his family, Marston has become a role model and counselor to young Airmen who are fathers and husbands. He teaches them how to handle the unique stresses of military life and makes himself available to talk at all hours. He also plans family events for his squadron.
Click here to see photos and video from the 2010 Military Fatherhood Award Ceremony.