Saying Good-bye

Breanna - Waterville, Iowa
Entered on February 24, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, peace
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

At the age of 17 going on 18 my father Sergeant Martin joined the Army Reserves he traveled to many different countries and places doing what he was told to do……. building things like schools, and houses. A little while later, he married my mother, Kari, and they had me, and three years later my brother, Dillon. One day when I was eight, my father was told his battalion was called to “duty” in Iraq.

We didn’t know what would happen next. When the day came, there was a gathering of all the solders and families along with the surrounding community, all there to support their troops. The towns were filled with yellow ribbons, signs and more. The hardest part was letting go. Watching my dad get into a convoy and drive down the street, away from us, his family. Everyone was crying, grownups, kids, everyone!

I was going into third grade when he left and it was very hard for my whole family. Doing things without him that he would usually do with us was hard. I went to the councilor about every day for about an hour. She would help me write letters, collect stuff, video tape important events and we would send them to him. My brother was young and didn’t really know what was happening, but I knew that things would be different and that he would be gone for a long time. Weeks went by and then months with the usual one letter per week and the occasional phone call as our only connection.

Finally he got a two week break to come home and spend time with his family. When he came home, we all spent as much time as possible with him, we were all so happy. The two weeks went by fast and, as soon as we knew it, it was time for him to board a airplane and go back to Iraq. Again, saying good-bye was the hardest part because I had to let go of someone, that I love and have only spent a little time with but I’ve been away from for a long time.

Time was flying by still with the usual visits to the councilor and the letters, but it didn’t seem like it was as tough to deal with as it was in the beginning. The neighbors were really helpful when it came to winter and just helping out with whatever there was to do like snow blowing, hanging up lights, and much more.

My friends were a big help, they were always there for me, and they helped me through it. Especially my best friend Kailyn. She was always by my side when I would cry or even when I was upset. It was like my friends knew what I felt because they always knew what to say.

One day my dad found out that he would be coming home, so he called my mom and they decided to keep it a secret from my brother and me. Some odd days later when I got home, there was a huge suprise. My dad was home for good! That was the happiest day of my life.

I hope you now understand why I believe in world peace, because lots of people have lost many soldiers, and family, and children in this war that is still going on. We should have put a stop to this long time ago, finished it, gone and done what we had to do and gotten out, but we didn’t. We took our time and we still keep going deeper into it, making it worse than it ever should have been. This is why I believe in world peace. So that daughters don’t have to watch their dads go off to war and worry about weather or not they will return.