Our guest this week is Tony Gayle, a US Army and US Marine veteran as well as father of a son with special needs. He has an amazing story to tell and we’re hearing it in two parts. Last week we heard how Tony grew up on a US military base in Panama, then moved to NYC with his Panamanian mom only to end up in foster care before being raised by an elderly Jewish couple. He served in both the US Marines and US Army. Three years into marriage, he almost lost his Son, Hezekiah, at birth, only to have his wife die a few days later, due to complications from that childbirth. This week, in part two, we’ll hear how Tony and his son have struggled to recover from that loss and continue to move forward. It’s an incredible story from an incredibly powerful story teller. And it’s all in this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad podcast.
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Tony Gayle: So I became the bat of the NICU. If the nurses wanted a baby to stop crying and they had no one to hold the baby, they would come over and say, Mr. Anthony, do you mind doing some time in the rocking chair over there with the babies? And I would go I’m here. What can I do to help you guys gave my child life?
This I can do is help. So you’re talking two, three o’clock in the morning, I’m in the rocking chair and they’re taking turns, giving me the babies. And I’m just doing this with a bare chest on me holding babies and many of the wives, I didn’t know. I was giving them a break.
Tom Couch: That’s our guests this week, Tony Gale Tony is an army and Marine veteran and a father of a son with special needs.
He’s got an amazing story to tell, and we’re hearing it in two parts last week, we heard how Tony grew up with a military dad and later how he almost lost his son has a Kiah at childbirth only to have his wife die shortly thereafter, due to complications from that childbirth this week in part two, we’ll hear how Tony and his son have struggled to recover from that loss and continue to move forward.
It’s an incredible. From an incredibly powerful storyteller and it’s all in this special father’s network, dad to dad podcast. Here’s your host, David Hirsch hi,
David Hirsch: and thanks for listening to the dad to dad podcast, fathers, mentoring, fathers of children with special needs presented by the special fathers
Tom Couch: This special fathers. Is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation. It’s a great way for dads to support dads, to find out more, go to 21st century dads.org.
David Hirsch: If you’re a dad looking for help or would like to offer help, we’d be honored to have you join our closed Facebook. Please go to facebook.com groups and search dad to dad
Tom Couch: and now let’s listen to the conclusion of this conversation between David Hirsch and Tony Gale, no explanation.
Tony Gayle: They don’t know what happened.
They made it the best they could. And keep in mind, in my mind, I’m realizing they gave us a couple more hours. Um, that nurse practitioner brought my son back from the dead. I mean, yes, other people would get a lawyer and other people would try to fight this and try to, I got a couple of hours on my wife and I have a son who’s running around the house and I’m just thinking to myself, Be grateful for what you have.
Don’t try to fight the medical system and tell them how wrong they, they make mistakes all the time. It’s like, it’s a, it’s a job. They make mistakes. But my wife wanted us to have a child and we do, and I’m just going to do the best I can to continue on our mission.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, thanks for sharing. Uh, my heart really reaches out to you.
Like I said, that’s really heavy to have a child come into the world the way you just described and then to lose the love of her life, you know, almost simultaneously it’s, it’s just a crazy situation. So I remember you telling me that, uh, you had to pick a name for your son.
Tony Gayle: Yes. I, I, you know, oh, there’s, there’s, uh, there’s books in the NICU unit.
Cause we’re gonna, they told me that because it was more than seven months as 29 weeks, we’re going to be there until he’s prepared. He’s able to breathe and do everything on his own. And the nurse, same nurse practitioner said that could be three months. Four months, five months, three months is what we’re aiming for.
And I’m realizing I’m going to be sleeping here homeless for three months because you’re not getting me out of this NICU unit. I am sorry. It’s not going to happen. And everyone knew that. So I looked into these books of names and I heard, we thought we talked about it. Um, I just needed something strong.
I needed a little to get me through. I needed some of them. When I say it, it reminds me of what I’m supposed to do and what I’m supposed to add. I was, I always had a Bible, so canes, um, king has a Kyle, very loyal to the Lord. And because of it, his name, if this stole the strength of. And that’s what I needed.
I needed every time I say his name, that I’m reminded that I’m not alone and that I reminded that I have strength. I didn’t even feel it, but I don’t really see it, but there is strange that I can grow. I can pull from a views of when I needed to get through every day. So I say my son’s name. So much that he’ll come running to me at times back in, did you call my name?
And I’m realizing this is the same kid that was two pounds, four ounces and was dead. And now he’s telling me, daddy, did you call my name? And I’m like, yes. And he goes, are you okay? He always asks me every day. Are you okay? And I say, no, I’m not, but you know, I’m going to be okay. And he always says, why do you say it?
But I always say, cause I’m calling your name. So one day you understand one day.
David Hirsch: Wow. So how much time did he end up spending in the NICU? And when were you able to go home? Three months, three
Tony Gayle: months, three months. They told me in order for him to leave here at three months, we’re going to have to do kangaroo every day.
For a little bit longer than normal. Now listen, if the weapon system I got you covered electronics, explosives, anything? Military, I got you interrogation. Oh, I got you. Can’t grueling. I’m like, what are we going to the zoo every day? What’s going on with this? And they’re laughing at me going, you don’t know what that is.
Do you okay? I have no clue. Are we going to the zoo because I want to see a kangaroo. I really love kangaroos. And they’re like, no, sir. I mean, it’s bare chested. Your child has to lay on you and I’m just sitting there thinking, what does that do? I mean, come on, please. Really? And that’s when I started to realize how little I knew about anything at all with Sherman babies infants.
So every day for three months, Hours on end when ever he wasn’t getting us solar panel, uh, suntan type experience in that incubator, that child that now is almost taller than me, was on my chest, two pounds and four ounces just laying right here. And I’m just lying there holding him. And I just started reading.
I had nothing else to do. So I would hold my Bible over him reading. So, um, people would come in and a lot of moms in the NICU unit, but unfortunately, very few days. So I became the data, the NICU. If the nurses wanted a baby to stop crying and they had no one to hold the baby, they would come over and say, Mr.
Anthony, do you mind doing some time in the rocking chair over there with the babies? And I would go I’m here and it’s, what can I do to help you guys gave my child? Least I can do is help. So you’re talking two, three o’clock in the morning, I’m in the rocking chair and they’re taking turns, giving me the babies.
And I’m just doing this with a bare chest, just on me holding babies and many of the wives. I didn’t know I was giving them a break. I didn’t, I didn’t know because some of those women didn’t have hers. Or boyfriends that would take the time to come in. And so there, I don’t know what number, I don’t think, I didn’t think about it.
That just kept, I just said, if I’m not awake, put a baby in my arms. That’s how I felt. And I just kept rocking. So for three months I did that. And there’s a number, I guess, a treatment that I helped rock to sleep. Like I said, I didn’t count. I just thought if I’m here, it’s my new mission. So I’m going to keep going.
David Hirsch: Yeah, well, amazing story. Um, very powerful. So, uh, has he gets the strength to come home? And it’s just the two of you guys.
Tony Gayle: Yes, it does a tour. There are people where people ask me all the time. Don’t isn’t there a family guest. I focus on the positive. I’m not going to, I don’t care about the negative. I know it’s out there.
It’s the world we live in. I focus on the positive. So because there is an issue with myself being mixed. I’m a little bit of everything. I’m white, black, Spanish, everything.
David Hirsch: But people would see you as a black man, right? I’m just being objective.
Tony Gayle: Yes. Yes, exactly. So you would think that there’s no issues there.
The issues are, my wife’s family are predominantly black texts and Cowboys, and they’re having an issue with one particular thing, nothing against them. I understand their history and their one issue is with those who speak Spanish. They’re black texts and Cowboys. They’ve had to fight turf wars at a territorial, more with their ranches, with what was once a Mexico.
I mean, let’s be honest. So they go back in history of having members of the family who were at the Alamo, where Spanish speaking is not a pleasant thing for them. It’s actually seen as a derogatory thing. So here, I’m sorry. Speaking Spanish actually more than English. And I don’t stop speaking Spanish because I’m around them.
So I become the black sheep, no pun intended because I speak Spanish and they don’t want me around. They literally don’t want me around the rest of the family. They don’t want me around because whenever I see someone Spanish or pretty much anybody I’m very friendly, all lock them up. They don’t want to hear.
You don’t want to hear any Spanish words out of my mouth. They just have this thing about that. And because of it, I just make a decision. If I’m going to be around anybody, they have to be loving and, and have the Lord in their heart. And if, you know, I just decided, you know, what’s going to be my son and I, so for the most part, yes, there are a lot of, it’s a huge family that my wife comes from.
But until you. A friend or full or loving and caring and just unconditionally momming with no hate in your heart. You’re not going to get it on my son. So for that purpose, it’s my son and I, and those who get close, get close.
David Hirsch: Well, thank you for explaining, uh, that seems a little isolating, but, uh, I think I understand what you were saying.
Yes. So, uh, at what point did you get, uh, has he diagnosed and what is his diagnosis?
Tony Gayle: I did research. I wanted to know where not in the state or county I wanted to know. And back country of your language of America, where can I take my son for the biggest and the best bang for healthcare bucks? And in med to finding studies, say that at the time, Pullman, Washington, At the time happened to have the most PhDs per capita for speech therapy, cognitive therapy, everything that he was going to need, you know, speech, physical, whatever he was going to need.
They had more PhDs and all the therapists were connected to the university and the population was small. I mean, it just, it was a very, it was voted best city to live in, in Washington state year after year, after year after year. So I said, let’s go visit. And the visit became within one week of visiting, someone was painted and their therapy group that someone is in their town.
It was a single father with a child who has the w. Title of developmentally delayed, sir. I need you to think about this. And as I’m saying it, I was visiting. I wasn’t even a resident of Washington and someone knocks on the door where I am and says, hi, we’re therapies. We’re therapists. For speech and we hear a tra visiting them has a Kaia, can we meet him?
And in my head, I’m thinking I haven’t even been visited from the therapist where I am a resonant and here I’m visiting a place and you come to visit. I know where I’m going to man. And they visited with him and I watch them play with my son on them, in the living room. And I had a place that had the living room set up and a, basically like a kitchenette.
I just watched these angels that I call them, come in and just help my son out and get him to respond where I never could get them to respond in certain ways. And I started asking questions, like, what is it, what does it call that you’re doing? You know, can I connect kind of follow, learn these things?
Can I go to college? Can I go to a university right here and learn some of this stuff? Technically, yes, you can. You don’t have to we’ll do it. I said, no, I want to learn it so that when you’re not around, I can do it. And they looked at each other and they said, you want to go to college and take courses so that you could continue your son’s therapy when we’re not around.
I said, yes. And they looked at each other and they said, call Sue, Sue cracker Meyer is their boss. And. Sue cracker Meyer to me is an angel. That’s what she is. And she called the university and she got me squared away. And I got a chance to take certification courses. As a student, an adult student, I got to walk in and take classes, become a member of the community.
Ended up on the committee board for government or Ensley in Washington state. Because of soup. So she always would say, here’s a father who was willing to go and take college courses to better himself. As a father, I ended up being a speaker at the convention every year. They have a convention in Tacoma and one of those years they had me come and be a speaker and I got a chance to speak to other parents and.
That was mine, but I hate to have 2000 professional people who met, who do this every day. And most of them are all women. They actually did a count. It was like 10 men in the building and I’m one of the 10 and to be a speaker. And that environment was an honor. It was one of my greatest honors ever because.
They have master’s degrees, sir. And they make a humble, fairly humble salary. And it just, I just think to myself, but I know that there’s people out there who aren’t doing what they do and deserve. They deserve so much respect and so much more accolades and so much more financial support than they were getting, but they had a passion and I loved them for it.
And I’m grateful that I can meet people like that. So he
David Hirsch: moved from Houston.
Tony Gayle: To Washington state because I wanted, I wanted better for my son. I was doing a college visit. I want to know, am I going to go to this school? Am I going to live here? And without ever really thinking it through, my son got the best of everything.
And he had, I didn’t even realize it. Every single person that ever saw my son as a therapist had a master’s or a PhD. That is my book. That I can. This town, sir, has less than 30 traffic lights. So you have to, Hey, where I talked about warning positive around my son, the Lord said go there and I went,
David Hirsch: that’s pretty
Tony Gayle: So I’m just, I’m grateful. I’m grateful. That’s a beautiful town. I’ll miss
David Hirsch: them dearly. Well, is there some
meaningful advice you got from these therapist or that group that helped you better? But this whole situation with hezie and perspective,
Tony Gayle: has he been developmentally delayed? They told me that you may need to save things to him and explain things to him many times, not once, not twice.
You’re going to have to be more patient. The average parent needs to be. Your child is going to have some issues with comprehension. We’re stressing this to you because we don’t want you to get frustrated and think your child is ignoring you. So they gave me tricks and little tasks to run, to say things to him where I was.
Which is very military, like ironically, I would say to my son, Hey, please take your items from my room and bring them to your room. Do you understand that? He goes, yes. And I go, has a Kai, what did I just ask you to do? And he’ll say, I love you, daddy. And then I’ll say, has a carrier, please take your items from my room or bring them to your room.
Take my pillow. Yes. What else? And my blank. Yes. And what else am I toys? Yes. And where do I put them? And I’ll stop. I would brave remember that the therapist taught me. He’s not ignoring me. He’s not playing with me. It’s my son. It’s just what it is. And I would say you’re going to put it in your room son and they’ll go, okay, I’m going to go and put my pillow in my room and he’ll run out and leave everything else.
And the minutes would pass. And for what I know as a child, I would’ve gotten spanking for, I just put my hands together and I pray and I asked God for straights and I called his name as a kind, and he comes over, but I say it again. It’s like Groundhog’s day. Yay. And I just keep going. Cause I know he’s going to get it one day.
I that’s my holy hope. And then I’ll say you look at your blankie. I did. Yes. Please take your blankie to your room and he’ll do that. Minutes are passed and I’ll have to just keep going. So with us, I always say people say time moves fast. When you have a special needs child, time goes so slow and you feel like you’re in your own world because everyone else’s kid is everyone else’s child.
And you have to just say that. And everyone else’s child as everyone, else’s child, I’m focusing on my son at this moment and we’re in his world. So I’ll take a knee. The therapist taught me to get eye level with him. And I’ll say as a guy, I love you and you’ll give me a hug and I love you too. Daddy, can you please grab that one toy and put it in the room?
And this is when it happens. He’ll say, daddy, did you tell me to take my pillow? My blanket and my Twitter, my room? Yes, I did.
That’s what I know. He gets sick. He say, I’m sorry, I forgot my pillow. And I’m like, it’s okay. It’s just a pillow. And then I have to take all that military, all that drill, Sergeant, all that special forces, all that CIA Guantanamo stuff. I’m just a dad right now.
I just go, you got it. He heard me say all that. It just took 20 to 30 minutes to process. So yeah, that’s what I got from the therapist. I highlight, I contact patients, which I call sniper school pretty much repeating things over and over again. Every parent does that. So that’s not special. But when you go to special forces, training, green Berets stuff, you learn how to speak to a foreign speaking person who speaks no English, but get them to get what you’re trying to teach.
We call it Bonnie level. I have the body level, everything on my son, and they’re telling me, I may have to do this the rest of his life. And I said, well, that’s great. Cause I’m his dad, the rest of his life. I’m ready to do it, so, sorry.
Yeah. Well, I admire your, um, commitment and patience and, um, you know, it reminds me and I’m going to have to, uh, I’d like to do this in person as opposed to by mail, but, uh, there’s uh, I don’t think you know about this either.
David Hirsch: I know, you know what the challenge coin is because they’re in the military.
Tony Gayle: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Challenged corns.
David Hirsch: And, uh, we were looking for one that, uh, would be great to use for dads and we couldn’t find one. So we had, oh, we had this made up. Read it
that’s awesome. It says great dads are present physically, emotionally and spiritually. Yes. And there are four words. There’s a lot of symbolism in this coin, but there are four words and, uh, you basically hit on three of the four words. Intuitively, uh, one is love. One is patience. One is commitment and the fourth is honesty.
Those are the four universal principles that I think all great dads possess. Yes. And it’s pretty obvious to me that, um, that’s who you are. Thank
Tony Gayle: you so much.
David Hirsch: So anyway, I’m going to try to figure out how to get you one of these, but, uh, more importantly in the form of a shake, because they’re meant.
Delivered in the form of a handbag.
Tony Gayle: Thank you so much.
David Hirsch: So, um, now that I’ve wiped my tears away,
Tony Gayle: I, I stopped, sorry
David Hirsch: to be real about this stuff, Tony. Um, what are some of the fears that you face as a father solo parent of a young son with special needs?
Tony Gayle: When you’re a solo, which I appreciate you for explaining the difference to me about when you’re a solo, you, you don’t think anybody else is gonna get this.
And I think of, I fall back, I, I learned from Denzel Washington and one of his commencement speeches at a university don’t fall back. Don’t have it. Don’t worry about that. No, fall back. He said fall forward. So in my head, I, I, I think I’m going to be as father. I’m going to be there for him. I’m going to be as mentor put, you don’t want to expect anybody else to get this.
So yes, that means number one, fear. I’m going to be alone for the rest of mine. And I know that to some in America being a man that is just bonkers because everyone doesn’t believe when I say there isn’t a woman there and they’re like, well, why not just get a girlfriend? I don’t know. My wife was an instant star is always, will be a master’s degree holder.
She, to me was the upended me of what amazing is. And that’s what every husband should see his wife as you don’t replace that with mediocre. I’m just not going to do it. I refuse to, so I’m not rushing that. And unless. Her twin every way is produced by the Lord. It’s not going to happen right now. So number one, fair.
My faith is all I have and that’s all. But I have behind me is you’re by yourself. Um, I get to meet wonderful people along the way like yourself. So I was prepared to homeschool my son, his whole life. If I had to. Every one that I’ve met has said, no, he needs to inclusion. He needs to be amongst other children.
So next week he’ll start school. And just because he wasn’t caught up on certain things and he didn’t test out to the level they wanted, he’s going to have to do kindergarten again. And I am perfectly fine with it. Uh, when I, when I brought the news to him, I was crying. I felt bad. And he’s like, yay. I get to play more with more kids or meet new friends.
And I’m looking at him going, yeah, you get to do I’m thinking he was going to cry too. Again, his namesake. He, he is strong. He’s much stronger than I give him credit for. He was looking at meeting new friends and I’m thinking I’d failed him. Cause he had to do kindergarten again. So being alone, people treating them a certain way.
All these things are always on your mind as a parent, everyone, every parent does that. That’s just my real concerns is that I don’t want him to be treated as less than just because it needs a little bit more explanation. Uh, and that’s what developmentally delayed scares you, you know how kids, when you were a little guy treated, I don’t want that.
I don’t want to go through that.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, thank you for being so authentic. Um, most men do not talk about their fears or their anxieties and, uh, you know, it’s obvious that. One of your strengths is your transparency and your willingness to show your vulnerability. And it’s something that we, we all would benefit from just embracing.
So again, thank you for sharing. Thank you. So I’m thinking about supporting organizations and you made reference to one, which is the Washington state fathers network, which Lowe’s Mandosa overseas. And, um, I’m wondering if there’s been any other organizations that you’ve benefited from that has, has benefited.
Tony Gayle: Oh, yes. Oh yes. Also Mr. And those ads introduced me to so many peoples that have like bad first and I mean like, like yourself and there’s other dad named organizations in Washington, but I have to look back and, and the mind that I have to remind my son every day, Because he will always ask me, daddy, what’s that?
Meaning your shirt? Uh, what does that ring mean? Why do you wear your hat the way you do? What does that say? He, so he looks at every detail and I love that about him, but it’s just weird to have to explain it to him over and over and over again. But that being said, making a decision to become a Mason to me was one of the greatest choices I ever made.
As far as brotherhood mannered, chipping away on myself, that I need to become something better than what I was. That is always F for me, that’s always at the forefront to remind myself, I don’t know it all. I have so much to learn. I haven’t been through it all. I have so much to experience. There are people out there who’ve been through this call on them, ask their advice, let them know what you, what you’re at, you know, be for specific.
And so I’m just grateful that between choosing to follow Masonic path, choosing to be Mo uh, military, um, Marine, army, whatever you are, military, we’re all the same. And we all love and respect each other. And there’s so many military men and women who have come to my aid on some level, just to say, you’re not alone.
Give me a high five. People think it’s always about money and it’s not, it helps. Yes. But it’s also about getting that person to the next day. That’s all I need just for the next day and a high five or, oh, I love this one. I’m praying for you now. Whether a person’s religious or not, it doesn’t bother me.
It’s just, I appreciate that so much because then they are cheerleaders and behind in the bleachers who were cheering for you and you don’t even know who they are. So for every organization I’ve met, I had a chance to work with going to church every Sunday with my mother. Even if I don’t take my son to church on a Sunday, he has met every member of the Austen family.
They all pray for him. All of Lakewood church and Houston. You have to think about this for a second. Pastor stops service and just, this is not on the TV. You’re never going to see it because it was just done the way it was done. Then pastor had everyone in service that night pray over one of our security officers for our church who act that was part of the children’s ministry.
I was part of the hospital ministry and we would guard their church at night. So we were sitting in the church in a suit, walk around and guard the church. So I’m part of that body of family and every member to have touched my son and prayed over him. I’m just grateful that I’ve met these awesome people along the way.
So for everybody that I know and don’t know just that.
David Hirsch: Yeah, well, what a great testimony to your faith and to those that have surrounded you. So thanks again for sharing. So I’m thinking about advice now, and I’m wondering if there’s any important advice that you can share Tony, as a father of a very young boy about raising a child with differences.
Tony Gayle: Yes.
Uh, I would pass on what was given to me. Kept our relationship positive the whole time. And that is get down to any child’s level. As far as I love him. No, don’t act as childish as they do. We should know better as adults, but take a knee. You don’t take a, sit down, take a squat, sit on the floor. Don’t worry about that.
Just get to Ireland. Wherever. If the child is tolerating, you get on the chair, whatever, but get to eye level with that child and let them know one before you correct. Just like in pray, praise comes before too long. You love them. It doesn’t matter if you know. Love is love. Love, love feels good. No matter love is love.
So tell it the kid you love them. First. I’ve learned with my son. Hey, he has a kayak. I love you. I love you too, daddy. Now, whatever I say after that, he actually remembers better. I’ve tested this out. I don’t have any my dissertation on it. It’s just what I realized everything after. I love you. He remembers mean if I get angry or yell or something, cause he’s just not listening at all.
And I want to get his attention. He don’t forget anything because it started off with a yell. So I avoid this and I start with, I love you. Oh yeah. By the way, drink your milk please, because then you’ll go. Oh yeah, my milk it’s been in front of him for five minutes. I’m at the table sitting there wondering why he won’t drink it.
He has literally had heard the requests so many times, but this time he he’s doing it and I’m just sitting there thinking back to. Docking bays in the military of trying to get to go to restart it. So you can’t see him when you’re coming into ghillie suit. I’m like, I’m right in front of you. How can you not hear me say it?
And I remember I’m a parent developmentally delayed give him time. And then sometimes I’ll say one time and you’ll surprise me because I’m an eye-level. I start off what I love you. And then I make a request. Um, respect is not something that kids have anymore today, because I think we forget that respect is taught just like racism and bias are taught.
Respect is taught so many people have heard me call my own little child since he was two years old, sir. Hey sir, come over here, sir. How you doing? Can you come over? I’m okay. Daddy and people will look at me and go, why don’t you call your son, sir? And I say one, I’m a Christian and two I’m realistic. I’m cleaning his diapers.
Now he’s going to clean my diapers. I might as well give him respect. I don’t want to do that job and he’s going to do it for me. So I feel with parents, I think parents, especially fathers, your doors, your sons, the twins, whatever you have, they’re going to be the ones that clean you later put that into perspective.
So I T I’d call them, but also. Sir. And then he says to me, do I have to say sir, and ma’am to everybody? And I say yes, until they tell you otherwise, until they tell you, otherwise you give that give you that gave you a day. And that’s how I teach it, sir. Ma’am he hears me say it all the time. Little girls would come around.
How are you doing? Ma’am how’s everything. And they look at me all funny. Like I’m not a man. Yes. Yesterday. I get you ready? Yes, you are. So even strangers hear this from us. So I level starting off, but I love you then. Oh, I hug or something and then give a request and giving him the respect. I want him to give me, but not just me when I’m gone.
I want to give it to everybody. And hopefully the love and the patients that I’m giving him, he gets to everybody. That’s all I want. That’s it it’s just to be happy and to love and respect others.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Very powerful. Thanks again. So I’m sort of curious to know why you’ve agreed to be involved with the special father’s network.
Tony Gayle: When I realized where I would be, if it wasn’t for all these wonderful men and their spouses and their health and their families supporting them. But initially men who are showing me. That men, aren’t all the negative things I grew up hearing. I just want to be a part of that. I want to be a part of the parents that live in this world.
I’m going to make a difference and help other men who are good men who feel as if good guys finish last, last, first middle. There’s no place in this. You’re a father. And I want you to know you have men out there like myself who are trying every single day to do the right thing, the loving thing, the good thing, the fatherly thing, and create leaders who will be great fathers too.
And, um, I just want other fathers to know they’re not by themselves. The VA, the VA. I just thought this the VA, whatever you call them. The first thing they always ask you is if you have any, any feelings or it yourself, and every time I hear that, I just I’m like, are you crazy? Like, I can’t, I can’t even.
About that. I of have time for that. I got a kid who got to get ready to become president. You know, I got, I got to get the other kids. We have to influence other dads out there. And you know, I’m like, I try to, if I hurt me, who’s going to do the job. I mean, we gotta do this. So they laugh every time I called them about something, because they’re like, no one answers that question the way you do Tony.
I’m like, what do you mean? You asked me what I’m answering. I don’t have the time. So even give those thoughts life. I have to give you life to life. And to me, it’s just so for the dad out there, who’s suffering, who thinks he can’t do it. He’s going to give up, don’t give up, don’t give up because you’re raising a future, you’re raising an extension of yourself.
And if you give up, you’re telling that child to give up. So that’s why I want to be a part of. And when they help other dads know, give them a perspective you don’t give up. You’re not alone. We’re here for you.
David Hirsch: Wow. Well, we’ll, we’re thrilled to have you, uh, even though you only have six years of experience being a dad, you’re speaking as if you’ve got a millennia of knowledge and insight.
So thank you again. Let’s give a special shout out to Louis Mendoza. King. Yeah, the Washington state powders network for, uh, helping connect us. Thank
Tony Gayle: you so much. Thank
David Hirsch: you. Is there anything else you’d like to say before we wrap up?
Tony Gayle: No, just all the Chloe to God. I’m just so grateful. Thank you.
David Hirsch: If somebody wants to.
Be in contact with you or follow up, uh, what would be the best way of doing that? Tony?
Tony Gayle: I’m not the most tech savvy person, but I don’t always say my email hasn’t changed since I joined the Marine Corps. So that’s, that’s a bit awhile. That’s my main Anthony L email@example.com. It’s been the same. And I just ask, please, if you’re going to email me, um, don’t be mad if I don’t respond fast enough.
Um, those, we have my phone number. I don’t mind them having it. Just text me and tell me, I emailed you. Look at it. And I’m like, okay. And that’s 5 0 9 3 3 0 0 6 0 8. Just a text saying, look at your email, parents, understand. Those of us who don’t have an office, which I dealt. We don’t really look at email step much.
So that’s a little text and an email, and I’ll respond to anything that I can and put you in contact with whoever can help you better than I can. Well, that’s
David Hirsch: very nice of you to make herself feel better. Tony. Thank you for the time. In many insights, as a reminder, Tony is just one of the dads. Who’s part of the special father’s network, a mentoring program for fathers raising a child with special needs.
If you’d like to be a mentor father. Are seeking advice from mentor father with a similar situation, your own, please go to 21st century dads.org. Thank you for listening to let us to episode of the special father’s network. Add a dad podcast. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did, as you probably know.
The 21st century dads foundation is a 5 0 1 C3 not-for-profit organization, which means we. Your help to keep our content free, to all concerned. Would you please consider making a TxDOT full contribution? I would really appreciate your support, Tony. Thanks again.
Tom Couch: Thank you. And thank you, you for listening to the dad, to dad podcast presented by the special father’s name.
The special father’s network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation. It’s a great way for fathers to support fathers go to 21st century dads.org.
That’s 21 St. Century dads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help. We’d like to offer help. We would be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com groups and search dad to dad also, please be sure to register for the special father’s network biweekly zoom calls held on the first and third Tuesdays.
Lastly, we’re always looking to share interesting stories. If you’d like to share your story or know of a compelling story, please send an email toDavid@twentyfirstcenturydads.org.
Tom Couch: You enjoy this podcast, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes or wherever you listen that dad to dad podcast was produced by couch audio for the special father’s network.
Thanks again to Ruben law for supporting the dad to dad podcast. Call Rubin law at (847) 279-7999 and mentioned the special father’s network for a free consultation. 8 4 7 2 7 9 7999