Stefanie - Troutdale, Oregon
Entered on December 26, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in sacrifice. Sacrifice may sound like just another word people use everyday, but when I say sacrifice it’s used in a way that explains my life story. The dictionary definition of sacrifice is, a forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered, to have a greater value or claim. When you read this what do you think of? Some pig and a knife? I think of my dad.

My dad has sacrificed many things lately. He is in the Navy and has been for 8 years, and to move up in rank, to Chief, there is a requirement to go to another country for one year. When my dad finally told me, it felt like there was no more oxygen left in the air for me to take in, but the only words that I could release were “that’s cool”. I thought to myself, how could I just say “that’s cool”? I really wanted to say, “NO! You can’t go you have to stay right here, and never leave”. I had so many questions like, where? How long? Are we able to talk? All of my questions were soon going to be answered, slowly but surely.

I didn’t understand much at the time why he volunteered. Why he wanted to leave us for a year, risk his life from everything he has. I understand now a lot more than in the beginning. I know my dad wants to do this for his family, for his country, and for his career. I never thought I would be that daughter. The daughter that has to worry if her dad is going to be okay, if he is going to come home, if he is going to meet her boyfriends, see her leave for her first prom, if he will see her go off to college, if he will ever walk her down the aisle and giver her away at her wedding. These feelings and thoughts scare me. I know I shouldn’t think cynical, but I can’t help but wonder, what if? I mean, what if this choice is the last thing he does for his family, for his country, and for his career? That’s one of the scariest thing that I have ever thought, but thee scariest thing is that the military can make him stay longer up to one month or up to 24 months.

I was one of those people who thought cleaning my room was inconvenient, but now when people say things like such, they really don’t know what sacrifice is until they take a walk in my shoes for a day. I think about it a lot, I dream about it a lot, I even cry about it. I’m glad I am able to email him pictures and videos of sports or school dances, or just to say “hi”.

So, my dad is going away for a year. Iraq, he’s going to Iraq. This is going to be the hardest year of my life, but I have faith in him, after all he did find the Legendary Christmas Pickle, in our Christmas tree. It brings a year of good luck to the person that finds it first. That’s got to mean something special right?