A Father's Prayer
I received this e-mail letter from a father whose son is serving in Afghanistan.
Obviously, it's been tense after the recent attacks on a U.S. Air Base. Carl's letter is a reminder to all of us to remember our brave men and women, and not forget that we are blessed to have the fighting for freedom.
Hello Carol: I received word from Eric early this morning that the air base he is at in Afghanistan was attacked and two U.S. comrades of his were killed.
He said this was the worse attack since being at the Bagram air base.
From things that he has written I can tell he is getting stressed, especially having to attend ceremonies almost every day for fallen comrades. A ceremony was in progress when the air base was attacked.
His call came shortly after I sent him the attached letter.
I am very proud of my son and ask for your continued prayers.
Take care, Carl
June 21, 2009
My Dear Son:
Over the years, all the cards, ties and tools you gave me have been special. But on this Father's Day, I cannot think of a better time to thank you my son for the most precious gift you are giving me.
Your unselfish dedication and sacrifice in serving our country and willingness to lay down your life for me, your family, your friends and our country demonstrates no greater love.
This is and will forever be my greatest Father's Day gift.
Being a fourth generation U.S Army soldier, you continue to display the character and strength in the ultimate purpose of your mission; defending our nation from terrorism, or if need be freeing others who are in slavery to dictators.
Thank God for soldiers like you.
Although you are not a father, the concern and commitment you dedicate to the fathers you work with in the U.S. by encouraging them to stay involved in their children's lives exemplifies the reason you reenlisted.
When I asked why you rejoined, you said, "I did it so every other mother and father's child would not have to go to war."
Son, no one wants war. I didn't want us going to war for families would suffer.
However, the character and strength that you have displayed has caused me to realize there are times when if we don't go to war, we will suffer the consequences.
On February 1, 1979, when you came into this world and into my life I was and will always be a truly blessed and extremely proud father.
With love, guidance and direction you have developed into a young man with a personality that transcends across all races and ethnicities.
There is power in your presence and communication and you live the lifestyle. You have a way of mixing with people from every walk of life. I know of no one else that truly represents the melting pot of America's society.
Son, you are a deeply loving, sensitive, and caring human being. You accept others without conditions or judgment, knowing that differences and changes make life interesting.
Parenting was sometimes very challenging for me, but through the years, you made it all worthwhile. I worried and wondered whether or not I could be the best parent possible.
Did I make you feel important? Did I spend enough quality time with you, laughing, hugging, crying and just father-and-son moments?
My memory of you always takes me back to when you were an infant; so sweet and small and trusting.
You brought such happiness and joy into my life with many warm recollections.
Your teen years were full of adjustment, uncertainty and development.
Your dreams, accomplishments and your goals have been a great source of pride and satisfaction.
I cannot believe that the time has passed so quickly. And now, I see a handsome, gentle person - my best friend, the baby I held, the person with whom I shared jokes with, special talks, laughter, victories, tears and defeats, and gentle guidance into a world of hope.
You spoiled me with boundless joy and soaring pride and a love that grew as you did. Though miles and schedules will keep us apart this Father's Day, our bond will exceed that distance and time.
Life is a blessing with you always in my heart.
The memories of you continued from your youth into adulthood.
It was six years ago on February 1, 2003, your 24th birthday, a time for celebration that was marked by sorrow with the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and the day you received orders of being activated when the war first began.
I know you had a lot to deal with in the short time before you left, but you knew that no matter what, you had your dad's love.
I am so grateful that I had the chance then to tell you that before you left on February 8th for active duty, a day I will never forget. I hugged you so tightly not wanting to let you go.
Oh son, I love you so much.
Surely, with everything you have had to endure the past several few months, you have found inner strength. It has been said that courage is the not the absence of fear but the strength of your faith and hope to get you through it.
Son, may God protect you from all freak accidents, hurt, harm and danger both seen and unseen.
My Son, My Soldier, My Hero, I love you and miss you!
Thank you for my Father's Day gift