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ARLINGTON, Va. — CJCS knows best.

In addition to being Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, this year Gen. Richard Myers shares with four others the title of “2004 Fathers of the Year,” as named by the National Father’s Day Committee.

Myers was one of roughly 20 men up for the distinction.

“As I see it, a father has to do his best to help raise children who will be good citizens, good leaders and good parents in their own right,” said Myers, father to three grown children and who as two grandchildren. “He also has a responsibility to make the world a better place for his children and grandchildren. It’s a tremendous privilege and responsibility, so being recognized as ‘Father of the Year’ is truly a great honor.”

The other top fathers this year are Ellis Marsalis Jr., musician and patriarch of the Marsalis musical family; NASCAR driver Richard Petty, NBA star Isiah Thomas, and baseball Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda.

The five were to be honored Thursday at the 63rd annual awards luncheon in New York City.

“The criteria is that they have to be active in the community and recommended by either a family member, friend, committee member or past honoree,” said committee office associate Joan Reeves.

Myers was nominated by a committee member whose brother serves in the U.S. military, she said.

The 17-member National Father’s Day Committee is a not-for-profit, noncommercial organization that strives to heighten the meaning and observance of Father’s Day, raise funds for philanthropic purposes and present “Father of the Year” Awards to deserving fathers of high accomplishment in their chosen fields who have also exhibited enormous achievement as parents, according to a news release.

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