Appreciation is one of the simplest and easiest things you can do as a leader…as a human. The two shadow boxes you see in the photo above are tokens of both appreciation and legacy. I waited until the last minute to put these together – a few days before my Air Force retirement ceremony. Both my children had tears in their eyes when I presented them each a shadow box with special mementos and replica medals of their Great-Great Grandpa Buster next to mine.

Fast forward a year later and Appreciation is still something I know my children always need. They know I need to feel appreciated too. Today we spent some time outside of the house. Amidst COVID-19, they’ve rarely left the house since we arrived to Texas on March 4th. We’ve gone paddle boarding a couple times, and to eat once. But today after our first stop, my daughter hugged and kissed me about a dozen times. She kept telling me how much she appreciated me. We sat in the truck, did some singing, enjoyed our Japanese sodas and treats and she continued to thank me. She knows how much I loved being an Emergency Manager and tonight after thanking me repeatedly for buying her a favorite treat, she said she was sorry my Fire Chief didn’t appreciate me. She at 9 years old knew why my heart broke when I chose to resign from a job I love. It wasn’t healthy for me to stay where I wasn’t treated with dignity, respect or appreciation.

So tonight, when I heard her little voice and heart tell me how much she appreciated me, I smiled and thanked her.

Next month, I will begin a new chapter with a boss and team who’ve shown me dignity, respect and appreciation since last December and I am excited to bring my leadership talent and servant heart to their city!

Love & Leadership,


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