The role of dad has changed considerably these past few years.

The economic plight of many a household more than likely has forced him into some hard decisions. Daddy's little girl may not get everything she wants. The family may have to move. Jobs likely have been lost.

In boom times, dads have the means to temper their societal roles as disciplinarians with the ability to help pay for their teen's first car, family vacations, or supplement college. But when a recent survey shows that the average middle class family saw 40% of its wealth erased by the recession, no doubt many a father also saw his superhero abilities severely compromised.

And yet, they always find a way to come through in the end, don't they? For that “other” day, moms make it look so easy. But for the dad, it's been an awkward mix of stiff upper lip with a soft side (admittedly taking the gender roles here to their full cliché).

Given all the added pressures piled upon them this year, we salute dads on this Father's Day. Surely, they could use one.