Military Dad Writes 270 Notes To Put In His Daughter’s Lunchbox For Every Day Of His Deployment

The love of a parent for their child is for a lifetime, their children know exactly where to go for love, support, or a hug.

A dad and mom will always be there for their child no matter how much they grow up, just like this Army dad from Fort Drum, New York.

Staff Sergeant Philip Gray had to leave for his deployment in Afghanistan in 2019, but he made sure he took care of an important business before he left his wife and daughter.

Posted by Philip Gray on Friday, 11 January 2019

The army dad was going to be gone for a total of 270 days and so on his wife’s suggestion, he left daily notes of love for his little daughter, Rosie.

He wrote a total of 270 hand-written notes on index cards, for every day to be placed in Rosie’s lunchbox for every day he’d be gone. “He wrote anything from, ‘You are super girl’ to ‘Smiling makes everyone else smile,’” mom Kristen Gray said.

Posted by Philip Gray on Thursday, 26 April 2018

“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.” Some of the notes were, “I love you so much,” “Be a mermaid,” “We are a family of awesome,” “Have fun at Tae Kwon Do!” and “When you get home, have a dance party with mommy,” were just a few of the many notes Rosie got.

Posted by Kristen Gray on Thursday, 12 November 2020

There were cards with illustrations as well, and Philip said it took him about a week of writing 30-40 a day to finish them. He said those reminders were very important to him because with his line of work he missed a lot of the big holidays. “We miss, you know, Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s,” he said. “I just made it back three days before her birthday this year, so that was a big plus.”

His wife said that he would often leave notes for her to find, especially when he knows he’ll be gone for a while.

“Actually, before we were even married he would leave some little notes for me whether it was — just like in the kitchen or next to the bed, but especially after we had Rosie and he would go away for training, whether it was like days, weeks, months, it always came at just the right time,” Kristen said.

“We’d find something just to make us smile. He would just always think of these little things to write, and just leave a happy note.”

When asked which were her favorites, Rosie showed notes that said “Always smile. It makes everyone else smile,” “Have a great day bug” and “Love you.”

What a sweet way these notes are even in this day and age of technology, to remind someone you love them and miss them while you’re away.


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