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RANGELY I Chris Cady, this year’s military father of the year, reminds us how fortunate we are to celebrate Father’s Day in the safety our armed forces help provide. Cady, the son of Bill Cady of Rangely, was among 600 men nominated for the 2011 Military Father of the Year award. The award recognizes men who go above and beyond to provide for their families while serving in the military. As an inspiration to many and hero among heroes, Cady certainly fits the profile.
Petty Officer First Class Cady works in the priority materials office at the Kitsap-Bremerton Naval base. He is also a single father with a special needs child.
Cady’s son, Joshua, contracted Cytomegalovirus (CMV) before birth. The virus affected the development of his brain, causing blindness, deafness, cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Now 11 years old, Joshua is confined to a wheelchair, has a tracheotomy and receives all of his nourishment through a feeding tube. For Joshua and his father, Chris, this life is all they have ever known.
Bill Cady said of his son, Chris, “He had a great desire to keep Joshua and he just stayed fast with him and he has done wonders for that little guy.”
“I pretty much take him with me everywhere I go,” Chris was quoted as saying in the North Kitsap Herald.
In a recent news broadcast featuring the Cadys, the love and laughter between Chris and his son is obvious. Although he is unable to verbalize his love for his father, his actions speak for themselves. Joshua smiles when he looks at his father.
Following his 2006 divorce, Chris has provided primary care for his son with the help of an outstanding support system. Nurses are scheduled for night care and Joshua’s mother, or the nurses, provide additional care when Chris has to travel for work.
Cady serves on the advisory council for the Military Special Needs Network. He was nominated for the father of the year award by Wendy Kruse, a fellow council member.
“His story is remarkable,” Kruse said, “How he has turned tragedy into triumph is amazing.” She has seen Chris’s positive attitude and appreciates his perspective on the entire situation. Instead of being angry and focusing on the negatives, he turns the opportunity into a way to help.
Cady is spreading awareness for CMV with his story. He is humbled by the nomination but pleased that people will learn of this disease and help prevent it. He uses his energy to advocate for and help other special needs families.
Jamie Goodman, Master Chief at the priority materials office headquarters where Cady works, complimented Cady’s ability to handle stressful situations and his “unflappable demeanor.” He believes Cady has learned a great deal from his son and appreciates the quality of work he provides.
Cady will retire from the Navy later this year after 20 years of service. He will do so with a well-deserved award. In his everyday life, Cady endeavors to persevere and because of his perseverance, and that of so many brave service men and women, we are all able to enjoy our families in a safe environment. This Father’s Day, we would like to say thanks to our dads and to all the dads out there, for making a difference in our lives.
(Some of the information for this article was compiled from news reports on Fox News and the North Kitsap Herald.)