An excerpt from the book:
And then there was the journal. Writing it would be a way foryour dad to help guide you through life if he did not make it hometo us. He wanted you to know to pick up the check on a date, totake plenty of pictures on vacations, to have a strong work ethic,and to pay your bills on time. He wanted to tell you how to dealwith disappointment, to understand the difference between loveand lust, to remember to get on your knees and pray every day.Most of all, he wanted you to know how much he loved us.
So, late into the night in Iraq, after he had completed dangerousand often deadly missions, your dad returned hungry and exhaustedto the relative calm of his room and wrote to you before heslept. His grammar was not perfect and his handwriting at timessuggested that he was tired or rushed. But he put so much thoughtinto the beautiful messages he wrote, things like:
Be humble about your accomplishments, work harderthan the man next to you, it is all right for boys to cry.Sometimes crying can release a lot of pain and stress.Never be ashamed to cry. It has nothing to do withyour manhood.Your father mailed the journal to me in July 2006, shortly afterone of his young soldiers was killed in an explosion eerily similar tothe one that would claim his own life. He was so shaken afterpulling the young man's body, piece by piece, out of a bombedtank that he sent the journal to me, unfinished. He had more to say,but that would have to wait until he came home on a two- weekleave to meet you, six weeks before he died.
Dana's blog can be found here.