Like many other families, my dad was in the military. He was in the National Guard. He was gone one weekend every month to drill and sometimes had to do extra training after getting off work at the armory.
My Dad’s biggest and most difficult trip for him and my family out of all of his 22 years in service was when he went to Afghanistan. He was gone for 18 harsh, sad and scary months. I would run to my grandma’s house and write him letters about what I did at school and how I was doing. It was the best part of my day!
We would send him care packages almost every month. My favorite and probably the best care package was sent in October. We sent a big box of leaves to give him a taste of home.
Our hardest times were not seasons changing, holidays or even birthdays, but were small things like learning to ride my bike and not having my dad at lunch during “Dads for Lunch”. I was so happy to have a caring mother because without her, we wouldn’t have been able to stay strong throughout his deployment. She had to not only be a mother to us, but a father also. She got to the point where she wouldn’t watch the news because she was scared she would see my dad’s face on the screen.
We might have been scared to death and cried a whole lot, but knowing he was fighting for our freedom and our country made it all worth it. I wouldn’t trade anything for being a military family. It makes us strong and courageous and shows the pride we have for our country!