The best and hardest part of my job is looking over all the submissions for our American Gold Star Christmas project and seeing the photos and reading the stories of our amazing Gold Star families. This picture came in with one of the submissions.
I promptly had to call this mom and ask her if I could share a bit about her husband and her daughter.
John was killed when Emma was just 13 months old. He came home from deployment and fell in love with this sweet little angel of his. With so little time to spend together, every moment mattered. He held her constantly and whispered greatness over her. And before the family knew it, he was gone again overseas– fighting a distant war and an even more dangerous foe.
John called his wife Amy on December 27 to apologize that he hadn’t gotten anything in the mail for Christmas yet. He’d been “busy.” Busy was an understatement. The constant attacks and pressure his men had been under was not something he and his wife discussed frequently. “I’ll get something in the mail soon. You should have it in four to six weeks.”
January 9th, John was killed.
Several weeks later, daddy’s Christmas gifts arrived.
A “Daddy Doll” was included. A fluffy pillow with a picture of dad on the front, a sweet note telling his daughter how much he loved her. And now that and a few photos were all she had to remember him by.
Emma’s mother, Amy, says that Emma is gifted with a profound servant’s heart. She gets that from her father. In one of their last telephone conversations, John expressed his sheer joy at being able to serve his country. He was proud to protect the United States of America and always believed he was part of something far bigger than his own contribution. His favorite song was Don’t Stop Believing by Journey….and now of course, it’s Emma’s too.
Amy told me that her daughter is never more proud and joyful than when she is recognized as a Gold Star kid and she truly beams when someone recognizes her father and his heroic act of selflessness. I hope you’ll join me in showing Emma and all of our Gold Star children that their continued sacrifices are not forgotten by #gratefulAmericans and I am so glad to know that Emma and Amy #believewithme! Click here to view all of our Gold Star children and their stories, click here to sponsor a child or here just to donate!