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The Invisible Hero — A Poem From A Soldier To His Child.

I wasn’t there to see your world debut

I didn’t watch you take your very first breath

I won’t be around to tickle your tiny feet

Or give you kisses on your little head

 

I won’t be there to hear you say your first words

Or teach you how to throw a ball

You will never take your first steps towards me

I won’t be there to catch you if you fall


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I won’t pack your lunch on your first day of school

Or sing silly songs while on the way there

I can’t tell you bedtime stories

Or wipe your tears when you are scared

 

I won’t get to threaten your high school dates

Or chaperon your dance

I won’t get to tell you how much you look like your Mom

Or how beautiful you look in that dress


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I’ll be absent from all family photos

I’ll not be present on your wedding day

I’ll miss out on that smile that looks like mine

I won’t be there to give you away

 

You see, while you were taking your very first breath

I was on course to take my last

As your little eyes were opening to your new world

My mind was flashing to memories of the past


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As you were saying your first words

I was fighting for freedom of speech

As you were taking your first strong steps

Mine were weakening on Pearl Harbor’s beach

 

While your mom was packing your first school lunch

I was fighting for your education

As you were saying the pledge of allegiance in class

I was protecting our flag from annihilation


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While confetti fell at your high school prom

Fallen soldiers gasp for one last breath

As you clasp your mother’s pearls around your neck

I was holding your picture to my chest

 

While you dressed in white to say “I do”

I was suiting up in camouflage

As you gave your heart to your true love

A bullet pierced mine and became lodged


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Though we never had the chance to meet

I hope to be in the dreams upon your pillow

I gave my last breath to ensure your first

In an attempt to be your hero

 

I want you to know that I’m proud of you

And I hope one day you’ll be proud of me

Cherish every moment you are given in life

Live FREELY. Think of me.

With Love, Your Daddy

 

They fell so we could stand. Their voices were silenced so ours could be heard. They stayed awake fighting the monsters so we could safely tuck in our children at night. Say a prayer for our soldiers, and never take for granted the precious moments they are missing with their families to allow you to spend time with yours.

This story originally appeared on Stars & Stripes

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