Son,

You are growing up on me and coming into your own. There are so many things I want to you to learn and experience, but this letter is not about them. Too many times over the last twelve, almost thirteen years now, I’ve let precious moments go by without telling you how much you mean to me. I hope this letter can convey to you how much mean to me and how appreciative of you I am.

A few years ago, you were enjoying your childhood without a care in the world. That changed overnight. You endured a divorce that totally disrupted your life and took you away from everything that you had ever known. You were, by far, more resilient than I had expected you to be. At points during the divorce, you were stronger than me, and I used you as my rock.

You’ve made commitments and sacrifices that even some adults are afraid to make. And those commitments and sacrifices were not by your choice. You didn’t pick my career path, but you’ve supported me through all the deployments, the schools, the conferences, and all the training I have to attend that keeps me away from home and away from you. The military has kept me away from you on your birthday, your programs at school, and your ballgames. Those moments I can never get back and for that, I’m truly sorry. I just hope you understand why I do what I do.

You’re now reaching the age where dad isn’t so cool anymore. There may be times that you feel I am too hard on you, but it’s because I only want the best for you. I’m not trying to be a douche bag, I’m just pushing you to be the best you can be. This is an important time in your life and I want you to know that I’m going to be here for you for anything, at anytime.

There is so much more that I want to express to you, but I believe that actions outshine words. If you don’t take anything else from this letter, please understand this. You are my hero! I admire you for how strong and brave you’ve been when I’ve had to go away. You’ve undergone so much and have kept on going. You deserve the ribbons and medals, not me. I love you kiddo!

Dad

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