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Every year on the third Sunday in June, families all across Howard County and around the country spend time to honor fathers and to let them know how much they mean to us. On Father’s Day, I like reflect on my father and the great impact that he had on my life.

Anyone who knows my family or me will tell you that I am very proud to be Bob Kittleman’s son. He was not only a dad (a single father raising 3 kids in the 1960/1970s), but was also an incredible role model, mentor and friend.

Although my father passed in 2004, he left behind a wonderful legacy that I have worked hard everyday to continue. He instilled in me many values, which have made me the person – and father – that I am today.

Every Father’s Day I have experienced has been great, but one remains particularly special.

002In June, 1996, my son, Robby, was born more than 6 weeks early. At birth, he had a suck-swallow-breathe incoordination that required him to go to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Howard County General Hospital.

The nurses and doctors at the NIC Unit were amazing…they encouraged our daughters to draw pictures to decorate Robby’s crib and helped to put at ease two very frightened parents.

Fortunately, Robby was able to come home a week later on Father’s Day. I could not have asked for a better gift!

001It is a story like this one that makes me so grateful to have been born and raised in Howard County and to be able to raise my four children – Haley, Mary, Robby and James – in such a wonderful place.

We have excellent schools, libraries and parks, but we are also very fortunate to have one of the best community hospitals in the nation:  Howard County General Hospital!

All of my children were born at HCGH and our family will be forever grateful to the nurses, doctors and staff for all they have done for us!

Today, I wish all fathers a Happy Father’s Day!

-Allan

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