Dale Crafts poses inside the Red Maple Inn in Guilford on June 5. Credit: Natalie Williams | BDN

The BDN Opinion section operates independently and does not set newsroom policies or contribute to reporting or editing articles elsewhere in the newspaper or on bangordailynews.com.

The greatest joy in any man’s life is being a father. While fatherhood comes with great blessings, it also is met with a massive sense of responsibility. Dads must ensure our children are given the tools to achieve their greatest potential both in person and in deed.

For our boys, we teach them to be kind yet strong, loving yet protective, crafty yet honest and calculated yet flexible. We provide them the tools and skills they need to make a living and provide for their family; but ultimately, we leave it to them to succeed.

In December 1958, my now-departed wife Madelyn and I were blessed with our son Dale Crafts. As a business owner in our small town of Lisbon, I taught Dale and his siblings from an early age the importance of a hard day’s work and the honor it is to work with your hands. From fixing cars to building structures, Dale was always eager to learn and never afraid of a little sweat.

In 1983, Dale’s life changed forever. Dale hopped on his motorcycle and headed down the road to pick up a part for me when an elderly man accidentally backed out in front of him and caused a severe accident.

I will never forget the moment I was told my boy would live the rest of his life in a wheelchair. My world was frozen, and I was lost without the ability to change the outcome for my son. However, as he always does, God had selected the right person to carry this unique load.

Since that day, I have watched my son overcome nearly every obstacle that has ever been placed in his way. He refused to allow the accident to define him. Rather than sit around and sulk, Dale took on his new life as a challenge and opportunity to help others.

Understanding that his independence was based on his ability to drive, Dale and others started a company called Mobility Plus, a research and development company focused on creating new ways for handicapped people to drive again and reclaim their independence. This venture inspired Dale to become an entrepreneur, building multiple businesses and employing hundreds of Mainers over the years.

As a businessman, Dale has proven that he understands what it means to earn an honest dollar. He has created businesses not just to provide for his family, but to create opportunity for others. He’s been known to help some of his employees start their own companies even when it might mean they would be in direct competition with him.

Whether it be on the Lisbon Town Council or serving in the Legislature, Dale has always stepped forward for his community to protect the values and way of life Mainers cherish.

As Dale’s father, I have tremendous pride for my son and what he has accomplished. It is a testament to himself and God that his life has become a great American story.

Like Dale was after his accident, our nation is at a crossroads. I know he is the right person to help pick us up, dust us off, and give us the tools we need to continue holding our place as the greatest country the world has ever known.

Of course, I’m biased. However, I have had a front row seat to Dale’s amazing journey. I have seen firsthand what he has been able to overcome and achieve. At 86 years old, I have been incredibly blessed to watch my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren unfold our family legacy. I am so excited to watch Dale have a part in unfolding our great American legacy in Congress.

I urge you to vote for my son, Dale Crafts, on Nov. 3 to ensure that generations to come have the same opportunity to build their own version of the American dream right here in Maine, no matter what challenges they face.

John Crafts of Lisbon is a retired businessman and the father of 2nd Congressional District candidate Dale Crafts.