Ally, age 9,  wrote this fictional story to help her cope with her dad being deployed, and we were thrilled to hear that he just surprised everyone on Friday by coming home early from his 9-month deployment! Ally has a genetic condition called EEC syndrome and is blind.  She reads and writes in Braille.  Be sure to check back on our blog next week for Ally’s mom Kristin’s perspective!

ally school photo


To Be Like Dad

In a far, far away city in California, a little girl sat on her daddy’s knee.

“And the people got off deck and found the other people just waiting to board…” recalled the girl’s dad.

“Tell me more tell me more, please, oh please, Daddy,” the girl said.

“Maybe tomorrow night,” said the girl’s dad.


The girl’s name was Dani. She was in first grade and had always wanted to be a sailor like her dad. She was working hard at her goal and sometimes she’d “play ship” with her two friends, Kaya and Sue.

When Dani got up the next morning, her eyes were barely open. She walked downstairs and said, “Daddy, Daddy! You’re here, you’re still here,” said Dani.

Dani got up at 5:30AM so she could see her dad before he left. She did not mind the early wake-up call because she still wanted to complete her goal. She practiced by getting up very early to go to work.

“My little Daniella, are you ready for work?” asked her dad.

“I salute you, sir,” said Dani.

Dani knew that when her father called her by her real name that it was important.

Many years passed and Dani was getting ready to start high school.

“I will go check the mail,” Dani said to her mom one day.

Dani skipped across the side path and got the mail. She opened the letter slowly.

Dear Daniella Smith,

I am proud to say that you have made it into the US MILITARY Training of young adults, 9th graders and up. You will be with a trainer and will go away to DC for your one year long training. I hope you can make it.

Director of Training, US MILITARY
“Yes!” said Dani.

She ran back to the house.

“Dad, look at this!!!” Dani screamed. “A letter came for me from the US MILATARY TRAINING SCHOOL back in DC. It’s great! It’s amazing! It’s one of the most special things that’s ever occurred in my life!”

“I’ll tell everyone to come over for dinner,” yelled mom from across the room.

“Oh thanks!” said Dani.

Everyone came for dinner. It was quite a feast! There was orange chicken, tomato soup, corn on the cob, baked cheese sticks, country fried green beans, sweet potatoes, fried rice, orange juice, coke, apple cider, and butter pecan pie for afterwards.

“Let’s cheer for Daniella!” said all of the family members. “Let’s cheer for Daniella!”

Dani felt so happy that her family members were feeling proud of her. Her friends, Kaya and Sue, came too.

“Three cheers for Dani! We’re so happy for you!” they both said.

Dad gave her a hug and said, “I’m proud to call you my daughter.”

Dani replied, “I’m proud of you too, Dad, and I want to be just like you.”

Dani’s goal of being a sailor in the US Navy was actually going to happen.

airshow daddy ally