By Kiara Barrie (11)

TRIED hard not to cry, I really did, but my tears came rolling down my cheeks as I heard my dad walking around the house packing to go to Afghanistan. You see I’m an Army child. He often goes away but it always hurts when he does.

He came into my room, brave and strong, hugging me tight and whispered: “All will be ok, don’t worry.” “Promise?” I asked. “Promise,” my dad replied.

The next morning, dark clouds scattered across the sky. I watched them moving slowly, my heart heavy. Silently we drove to camp to drop my dad off. Lots of people were there, smiling sad smiles.

I saw my friends Lucy and Olivia. They looked sad too, I waved and they waved back trying not to let go of their dads.

The big buses arrived, I looked at all the families hugging each other and saying their goodbyes. “Goodbye, I love you all so much.” My dad said as he kissed and hugged us too.

He clambered into the big bus; it took me a while to spot him again as they all looked the same in their green uniform. I could see him waving at me, my brother Luke and my mum. Luke started to cry but not because he was sad, he was hungry. My brother was two months old.

Then the buses started to move. We waved until we couldn’t see them anymore. My mum took my hand smiling down at me. “I guess it’s just you, me and Luke then,” she sadly said.

My mum wrote letters to my dad, I drew pictures. They’re called Blueys, and they are special letters we can send when my dad goes away. Sometimes I saw my dad on the internet. I could hear his voice but his picture was fuzzy. Days and weeks went by, every day I crossed another day off my calendar, not long now I smiled happily.

Today is the day my dad is coming home! I am so excited. I’ve got so much to tell him. I got bigger and Luke got a tooth. We drive to camp, there are lots of people there.

This time they are happy smiles. We wait and wait and then I can see the big buses arrive. We cheer, and I can see my dad clambering out of the bus. He is here! He is really here, my strong brave daddy.

I run to him until he scoops me up and hugs me tight. My mum and Luke follow, we all hug, hug for a long time and we smile, even Luke smiles a gummy one-tooth smile.

I am an Army child, but a happy and proud one!

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