Army Dad Wrote 270 Sweet Lunchbox Notes To Daughter For Every Day He Was Away

When America honors its veterans, one of the first words you're likely to hear is "sacrifice."

And indeed, those who enlist in the military during times of conflict are making quite the sacrifice as this decision carries the possibility that they'll either come home with a life-changing injury or that they may not come home at all.

But even if all goes well and none of that happens, that doesn't mean that they aren't still making a sacrifice. They're sacrificing the time they otherwise would've spent with their families and if they have children, they're sacrificing their ability to be there for some major moments in their lives.

But while that situation is hard on any child, one serviceman found a way to make it a little easier for his seven-year-old daughter.

On October 7, 2019, Staff Sergeant Philip Gray left Fort Drum, New York for what he expected to be a 270-day deployment in Afghanistan.

But as his wife Kristen told Good Morning America, that wasn't before he took her advice and made sure his daughter Rosie had something to look forward to on each day he'd have to spend away from her.

And so, he wrote 270 little notes that Kristen would put in Rosie's lunchbox every day.

As Kristen said, "He wrote anything from, 'You are super girl' to 'Smiling makes everyone else smile.' 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 P.E. and things that would really make her happy."

And while many of the notes contained affirmations for Rosie, others included little doodles of the family and seasonal icons.

As you can see, some of those include pumpkins and snowmen, which marked the holidays that Gray wouldn't be able to make it home for.

As he told Good Morning America, "It's a very emotional time. I missed all the holidays. Thankfully, this time round was just under a year so I didn't have to miss birthdays as well."

And by the time that Gray did come home on August 8, 2020, it was clear that he was sorely missed.

And whether he meant to or not, his efforts to keep his daughter anchored during his time in deployment started a new family tradition.

As Gray said, "Now that I'm home ... she asks me, 'Dad are you going leave me and mom a note?' I say 'Yes bug, I will leave you a note.'"

h/t: Good Morning America