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Dad Writes 270 Special Notes to Daughter

Before he deployed to Afghanistan, Army Staff Sgt. Philip Gray sat down and wrote 270 messages for his 7-year-old daughter—one for each day he would be away. He wanted to make sure his daughter knew that she was always on his mind. His notes for Rosie encouraged her to do her best at school and excel in her activities and hobbies. His wife, Kristen, said, “He was very big on feel-good words for her. He made sure to tell her how smart she was, and run fast in P.E., and things that would really make her happy."

Philip Gray left their home on Oct. 7, 2019, and while he was gone, Kristen put his notes into Rosie's lunchbox. Some of them included doodles like snowmen or pumpkins to represent holidays missed. He returned on Aug. 8, three days before Rosie's birthday. "Now that I'm home ... she asks me, 'Dad are you going leave me and mom a note?'" Philip said. "I say 'Yes bug, I will leave you a note.'"

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