This letter was written by the 16 year-old son of a soldier who deployed in June 2004, re-deployed with our unit and returned home in October 2006:
Many nights I would lie awake, not being able to sleep, not knowing if you were safe. My heart would slowly sink each time someone mentioned your name, for I knew you were not here.
I often stared at your picture, just wishing to be able to feel your warming touch, or hear your voice to lift me up from this state I seem to have been in for so long.
The news of your arrival lifted my heart higher than it has ever been for I knew I would soon be able to hold you in my arms after many months of struggling through life.
I say to myself how much easier everything will be now that you're home. I no longer have to lie awake at night in fear, not knowing where you are.
I see you slowly walk off the plane and look around, trying to find me. I cannot help but run up to you and embrace your warmth that has been missing from my life for so long.
For me, my superstars are not athletes, but the men and women that give up everything they have so others are safe. So I say, "thank you" to all the men and women of the military, and hope you can really see how much you are loved.