Freshman GOP Rep. Raul Labrador uses his online newsletter to describe a recent visit from his former Boy Scout leader, Bob Swift, who stepped in for Labrador's largely absent father.
Labrador has spoken about his move from Puerto Rico to Las Vegas with his mother, when Labrador was 13. Joining the LDS Church and the Scouts were key formative moments, he has said.
But his description of his relationship with Swift, offers a more intimate view, including Swift's role as a father figure.
Writes Labrador: "I remember vividly father-son campouts that we went on in which my friends’ fathers would go along with them. Not having my own father around to accompany me, Bob stepped in. He was like a father figure to me. Because of him, I felt like an equal among my peers and shared in the goodwill that was fostered during those outings."
Labrador also makes a connection between his relationship with Swift and his political views about limited government and urges others to step up and do good for others. He writes: "What made the difference in my life was not a government handout. Rather, it was the love of a mother and the influence of men like Bob Swift. I am grateful that I had someone like him in my life. My hope is that each of us will follow Bob’s example and make a difference in someone’s life. Especially with the turmoil in the world, it is important to remember and keep close those who matter to us most. Go out there and be a Bob Swift in somebody’s life!"
The newsletter includes a photo of Labrador with Swift. Two two were recently reunited during a visit to Labrador's office, having not seen one another in 20 years.
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