He's "retired" now from the USPS--I put that in quotation marks because he went right back to work and developed a successful landscape business. He's the hardest working person I know. He will give you the shirt off his back. If you're his friend (or his brother) and you need help, you can count on him.
When Katrina hit the Gulf coast, lots of people sent money and others did a lot of talking about what needed to be done. Dave took off work, loaded his tractor, chain saw, and other tools in his trailer and went right down there. He spent a over week in a little town in Southern Mississippi, sawing trees, moving brush, etc., doing what had to be done.
Dave's the only person I know who's come close to living up to all the tenets of the Cowboy Ethic. (That could be because I spent my career in academics, a profession not known for its high moral values, but the truth is, Dave's value system is pretty rare in any kind of work environment.) If you're not familiar with what the Cowboy Ethic entails, here's Jim Owen's "distillation of the timeless, universal cowboy values that are still relevant to our lives today." They're taken from his book Cowboy Ethics, What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West.
1. Live each day with courage.I love my brother. I'm proud of his military service and all his other accomplishments. And I'm glad he made it back from the war. I'm glad his name isn't on that famous Wall. It's a beautiful wall, and a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives in that conflict. But I'd rather have Dave's name etched right where it is--in the hearts of his family and friends.
2. Take pride in your work.
3. Always finish what you start.
4. Do what has to be done.
5. Be tough but fair.
6. When you make a promise, keep it.
7. Ride for the brand.
8. Talk less and say more.
9. Remember that some things aren't for sale.
10.Know where to draw the line.