You know, Dad, I've been thinking about you a lot lately. I've been really worried, you know? Wondering if you're okay, if you worry about me too. I know you said you'd be okay, that you don't want me to worry but I can't help it. And I think that's an awful thing to ask of someone when you're thousands of miles away, risking your life every day for a reason I don't understand. A reason, I think, nobody understands.

You know it's funny. I never used to pray so much until you left. I mean, you know me…I've barely prayed a word before in my life and now…now, the better part of my night is spent laying in my bed, praying a lot, and sometimes crying a little, too. I think it makes be feel better. Or at least I'd like to think that.

I guess it's been bugging me lately. All of the things we've left unsaid. I've really been meaning to talk to you about some things, but I'm not so sure it's the right time. I miss you. I've always missed you. It's kind of weird, you know? Not having you here. It's always been kind of weird. I know you didn't mean to hurt us when you left, and I tried so hard not to take it that way, but I did. And I mish so badly that I hadn't.

But I guess I can't change it now. You started a new life…one that didn't include me. Which is okay, I guess. I'm used to it by now. Sometimes you call and it really is great to hear your voice. But as soon as we hang up it's like you don't exist anymore. Like I only have a father a few minutes a week. Twenty if I'm lucky.

I don't know what to think. You've changed so much and I'm not so sure I like it. You used to be so much happier…you used to make me laugh all the time. You used to care. But I guess life does that to a person, right? I mean, it's not like I can fix it.

I guess you haven't noticed, but I've changed too. I never used to feel so uncomfortable with the world around me. I never used to feel so reserved, so self-conscious. And I hate it. But what can I do? I don't know how to go back to the way things were. And I don't blame you. I really don't. It's nobody's fault but my own for letting myself shut down like that.

I'm trying to get over all of this and let it go and embrace life a little but I can't. I know we've been through this a million times before but it's not like you try to make it any better! I will never be able to let it go if you just keep pushing me away like this and I don't know what to do Dad! I don't know what to do!

I have every right to be mad at you right now. I really do. But I'm not because I'm not like that. When you told me they were sending you to Iraq, I was scared. I felt so guilty for everything mean I've ever said or done to you and I wish I could take them all back.

You keep telling me that it's your job. That you have to go because it's your job! It's kind of a sucky job sometimes, you know? I mean I think you're so brave and I love you very much! No matter what awful things I have said, you will always be my dad. My daddy. And right now, all that matters is seeing you again.