The Making of One of America’s Finest

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How author Paul Richardson guided one young man from the streets of Oklahoma City to becoming one of America’s finest serving in the sands of Afghanistan and Iraq. It's a remarkable journey that leads a boy to honorable manhood and a man to a lifetime of helping others.

Paul Richardson’s new book, "Boys to Men: A Guide for Raising Boys," is based in part on a young man who went from the streets of Oklahoma City to the dangerous sands of the Middle East where he now serves in the Marines. It’s a journey that led a troubled young boy to becoming a man of honor and integrity who loves his family and his country.

This particular journey started as many do, with a young man who had very little guidance or direction. It was the usual journey, with paths leading in many directions. The world tugged at this young man from all sides. By the sixth grade, this boy was hardened to life and knew entirely too much about the streets. Richardson, however, saw something that many others had missed—a young man’s soul.

They were a most unlikely combination—the skater and the youth worker. Jimmy was street savvy, with little or no structure in his life, living day by day as best he could. Paul was a young landscaper and minister, supporting his young family doing landscaping. Recognizing in the young skater some of the same signs that had marked his young life as a child of an abusive alcoholic father, Paul knew he could help and over the years Paul prepared Jimmy for life and Jimmy helped Paul discover his passion for equipping young men for life.

On graduation from boot camp, Jimmy thanked this loving father figure for preparing him for this testing of himself. According to Jimmy, “after working for Paul for two summers, boot camp was a breeze.” Jimmy chose to make a career of the Marines and is currently stationed in Afghanistan. He has his own son now and he is hoping to raise him to be the man Paul Richardson taught him how to be.

This year, on Father’s Day, the first call to come through will be from Jimmy. It may come from Okinawa, Fort Bragg, or even Iraq or Afghanistan but for a moment these two remarkable men reconnect and remember their wonderful journey together.

Two heroes in their own way. Both with their own wars to fight.

Paul Richardson wrote Boys to Men: A Guide for Raising Boys as a testament to Jimmy and all of those like him who have crossed his path. He hopes to help parents who have young boys and are struggling to raise them to be worthy young men. He shows it is possible and his proof is in the men such as Jimmy who are his living legacy.

"Boys to Men: A Guide for Raising Boys," is the book that tells parents the truth about raising boys to be happy, healthy and loving men. If you would like more information about Paul Richardson, or would like to purchase a copy of his book, please call 1-866-947-8371 or visit his website, http://www.boystomenbook.com. A complete media kit, including images of the persons referenced in this story are available at http://www.boystomenbook.com/media/media.html.

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Char Diehm
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