Rosie Gray is a proud member of a military family — and an even prouder daddy’s girl.
The 7-year-old loves spending time with her father, Staff Sgt. Philip Gray. That’s what made it so hard when he was deployed to Afghanistan from Fort Drum, New York, last October. Knowing how much his daughter would miss him, the Army dad found the sweetest way to be with her in spirit every day!
Before Philip left, his wife Kristen suggested that he leave daily messages to let Rosie know she is always on his mind. So in the time leading up to his departure, he wrote exactly 270 notes for each day he’d be gone.
Kristen sneaked these wonderful surprises into Rosie’s lunch box every morning. From cute drawings to encouraging affirmations, the little girl couldn’t get enough of them!
“He wrote anything from, ‘You are super girl’ to ‘Smiling makes everyone else smile,'” Kristen told GMA. “He was very big on feel-good words for her and girl power. He made sure to tell her how smart she was, and run fast in PE, and things that would really make her happy.”
Not only did her dad’s notes help Rosie stay strong, but they also gave her something to look forward to!
Before she knew it, August 8 rolled around. It was three days before her birthday — and the day her dad finally came home!
Of course, the notes didn’t hold a candle to throwing her arms around her dad in person, but they gave her a piece of him to get her through the hard times. And she wants them to keep coming!
“Now that I’m home … she asks me, ‘Dad, are you going leave me and Mom a note?'” Philip said. “I say ‘Yes, bug, I will leave you a note.'”
Welcome back, Philip! Thank you for your service and for making your daughter feel so special, whether you’re home or thousands of miles away! We know it means the world to her.
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