To My Dad, Thank You for letting me be who i am

To My Dad, Thank You for letting me be who i am

To the first man I've ever loved, Happy Father's Day.


My relationship with my dad is our own unique kind of thing. We fight, we fuss, we go sometimes without hearing from each other, but as soon as we do, it's like nothing ever happened between us. I feel like I don't appreciate him the way I should sometimes, so here is a little thank you letter to show that I am thankful for you.

Thank you for listening to me complain about things and obsess over things that you've never seemed to grasp why I'm complaining or obsessed about it in the first place. For example: Zayn Malik leaving One Direction or One Direction in general, my obsession with Austin Mahone, why I love alternative screaming music the way I do, and much more.

Thank you for letting me your shoulder to fall on the very few times you did, because it meant a lot to me.

Thank you for always trying to find humor in things when you know someone is ready to fall apart. I know I get agitated when you do that, but I know that it's your way of trying to cheer me up.

Thank you for teaching me not to listen to what other's say about me and to keep my head up and let it roll off my back like I'm invincible. Thank you for taking me to my youth group events and for helping me get to M-FUGE those years I went, it was truly some of the best experiences of my life.

Thank you for getting me back involved with church when you did, because now that I'm older I'm super appreciative of those years I spent in church with you, because my church family was there during some of the hardest times in my life.

Thank you for loving Devan the way you do, and for accepting him in yours and Ashley's lives the way you have, I'm extremely grateful for that.

I want you to know that I'm proud of you and how much I've watched you grow over the last little while. I'm proud of you for the way you serve your community as fire chief and how much you love doing it.

I love you, I love Ashley, and I already love my new baby sibling. I hope you have a wonderful Father's Day, Dad.

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.

Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.

Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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4 Things I’ve Learned From My Military Family

Military families teach a lot of valuable things.


My mother and father have both been in the Army, both before I was born. My mother got out after 4 years when she was pregnant with me but my father serves for almost 22 years. My older sister also decided to enlist in the Army, and I've found myself in Army ROTC after years of telling myself I'd never be in the military.

As I've grown up, I've come to realize just how many valuable things I've gained from living with military parents that everybody may not understand, or have been taught the way I have. I strongly believe that the military influenced the way I was raised and I'm pretty proud of that.

These are four things I've learned from my military family.

1. The first and foremost thing that living in a military family has taught me is discipline.

My mother and father both expected more of me than the average family, and I've come to greatly appreciate it. Growing up, I always hated the expectations that were put upon me by my parents to always give everything I did my 110%. There was no such thing as halfway doing something. If I committed to a class or a sport, there would be no giving up or no giving it only part of my efforts. In college I started to realize just how valuable this lesson is and I believe the level of discipline I received should be learned by everybody. Due to the way I was raised, I have a very good work ethic and I always stick to what I plan, even if I decide it's not for me. I don't quit and I'm often praised for my dedication especially to the things I love because not many people my age have that quality anymore.

2. Another thing my military family has taught me is to appreciate the times where we can all be together.

When I was younger, my father was away a lot either on deployments or in the field training or even at military qualifying schools. I remember birthdays where he was away and wasn't able to call until after I was in bed, or the fear I would sometimes get at night wondering what he was doing or if he was okay. My father is a strong man and never failed to come home, and every time he did so I realized even more just how lucky I am. Even now, going home to both of my parents is an immense privilege and with my older sister deploying soon, I take time everyday to tell my family how much I love them.

3. I have also learned the importance of true friendships throughout a lifetime.

Similarly, my father in particular taught me that true friends don't have to talk every day. Instead, they're there whenever you need them and vice versa. My father has a few people whom he considers true friends and he doesn't talk to them all the time, or very often to be honest. Two of my dad's true friends recently moved close to him and even after not seeing them for several years and talking to them very little, when they met again they picked up where they left off. The relationship he has with these friends exceeds anything anybody can understand.

The camaraderie between soldiers is something civilians couldn't understand. One of these friends has a son whom I've known since I was in kindergarten. When we moved away, I was still in elementary school and therefore had no means of communication with him and we lost touch for almost 10 years. When he moved to my town right before I left for college, our friendship picked up almost exactly where it left off and he's one of the people I would do anything for. He is a true friend and I value our relationship as much as I value my family.

4. The last thing I learned from my military family is how to be strong.

Since I was little, I had to face the fact that my father was protecting our home in a place that could be dangerous. As I grew up, I came to realize just how much he was willing to give up to protect his home and family, and just how much of a hero he truly is. It's difficult to put into words how much I look up to him and he's made me want to follow in his footsteps. Through him and his stories I've learned exactly what true strength looks like. He has always been my hero and my strength comes from him because I know he's one of the strongest people in the world.

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