Father's Day through the eyes of an Air Force "brat"

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Imagine having a father who constantly moves your family from location to location. One who's gone at times and misses important milestones in your life for his work. One who sees the world and might pay the ultimate sacrifice for your freedom but remains a fighter for our country. 

When your father is in the Air Force, your life complicates with absence and understanding. You learn to appreciate holidays, like Father's Day, and you become grateful for any time you spend with your dad. 

Sometimes my father is gone for weeks, and when he arrives home, I may only see him for late-night dinners. Other times he comes home at 4 p.m., and I get to enjoy hours of watching Pittsburgh sports on television with him. 

Even though it's difficult having a dad who's not always home, good things come as a result of his partial absence. I never really knew what I had until it was gone. When he took his first extended trip, I appreciated his presence more than usual. The trip made the time I spent with him more memorable. To this day, every time he leaves, I am reminded how much I love him. 

Father's Day is extremely important in my life. It's a time when I thank my dad for supporting me and fighting for the United States of America. He always gives me a hug, and all I can ever say to express my gratitude is a simple, "Thanks dad!" 

For ordinary kids, Father's Day might not mean a whole lot. But when you're an Air Force brat, the holiday means so much more because we know that our dads may deploy and never come home. 

My father means a lot to me. I'll keep loving him and all the work he does for me and his country, no matter how much I may miss him.

(Editor's note: Ms. Callan is a rising high school freshman and an intern with the 1st Special Operations Wing public affairs office.)