Boy's Letter to Dead Father Gets Flown 'Closer to Heaven' by Kind F-22 Pilot

Inspiring 8

cloudsJust when you think our fellow humans couldn't get any more selfish or vile, along comes a story that reminds us how many amazing people there really are out there willing to do what it takes to make life a little better for others. This story is definitely one of those.

MacAiden "Mac" Gallegos was just 5 years old in 2009 when his father, Army Staff Sgt. Justin Gallego, was killed in Afghanistan. In the years since his mother, Amanda Marr, has done whatever she could to help Mac keep his father's memory stay alive, and each year they have celebrated his birthday in some special way.

Some years it's been a party; other years, they've done acts of service to help others. This year, however, Mac, now 9, had something else in mind.

According to KTUU, this year he wrote his dad a letter. In it, he asked him 10 important questions. It read:

Dear Dad, I have some questions. What is it like in a tank? What is like to be a scout? How old are you now? How old were you when you died? What is your favorite food? What is your favorite animal? What is your favorite hobby? What is your favorite activity? What is it like in heaven? Have you seen what I have accomplished? From, your son

It's one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever read, and I can only imagine how his mother felt reading it. So when he told her that he wanted to get it "as close to heaven as he could" she decided to do whatever she could to grant his wish.

According to the station she posted the request on Facebook, and somehow it ended up coming to the attention of an organization called Helping American Veterans Experience Alaska. They hooked Mac up with reserve F-22 pilot Lt. Col Brian Baldwin who took on the important mission.

Baldwin told the 477th Fighter Group Public Affairs, "It is an honor to fly with Mac's letter. His father gave the greatest sacrifice to our country and I am humbled to be able to do something for him and his family."

So last week, on January 24 -- his father's birthday -- Mac's letter (handwritten on red paper because red was his father's favorite color) was sent soaring into the sky. I'm quite certain it went straight to heaven.

How hard are you crying now? If your child has lost a parent how have you helped him or her cope?


Image via karen dalziel/Flickr



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early... earlybird11

My niece was just a day shy of 5 when her father died. She remembers him vivdly bow at 7 but we know keeping his memory alive is important. ahw does letters in a balloon 'to heaven' each year . It has been a lot of pictures she drew and things of that nature but she always talks about it with such joy ! It is so important to help these little ones cope in a way that they feel expresses what they feel. What a nice sentiment.

Rosas... RosasMummy

if I thought my kid was young enough to forget that parent ( maybe 3 or younger) I would let them forget them, I wouldn't ban talking about them or anything but i dunno, if they can just forget then I would think that's better for them than constantly being reminded of a loss they wouldn't even realise was there until they were older otherwise. I think this because one of our closest friends drowned a few days before my daughters first birthday and he was going to be her godfather in a ceremony the next month and at first I showed her photos and that but then I thought y am I doing this? I'm showing her photos and talking to her about someone she will never know like 'hey there was this really amazing guy and he loved you, but you'll never know him' we will mention him naturally and when she was 4 months old he gave her his christening chain which she will wear when she's old enough not to lose it so she'll know he loved her. I want him to know he loved her but I don't want to push on her any feelings of grief or sadness when it's not necessary

Dawn Slaughter

My son was with his dad when he passed. My son was just short of turning 12 years old. He has been an amazing kid, trying to make his dad proud. He has questions, but I try to answer them as well as I can. (It's not easy). We sure miss his dad. It's time to pick a class ring, and next year will be prom. Then, before we know it, graduation. First girlfriend, etc. His dad is missing out on so much, and my son is taking it like a champ. I am so glad we have a lot of friends, because they are all helping. I hate that I have to do this with my son alone.

pagan... paganmommy4

Its important for me to teach my kids that heaven is not real. I do not believe in such a place, nor do I believe in the bible and shame on parents for making them believe in fake things. I do teach my kids about summerland and reincarnation. My kids will have the reality about death. The person never truly leaves and you can have daily communication with them through spirit boards. Sorry to be a downer.. Teaching the bible and about hell is child abuse ( mental and spiritual)

phoen... phoenixrm1

Wow really you want to teach about reincarnation AND spirit communication? Your logic is a mess lol. Don't try to tell us our idea of heaven is wrong when your idea makes just about as much sense as heaven. Plus everyone has just as much chance of being right in the end. As long as it makes the children happy what does it matter what is taught to them? Let people be happy and don't say what is wrong and right like you know for sure.

Jacki Burgess Browning

religious slurs are not allowed on here- you cannot say heaven is not real- your poor kid...


 I am in tears!! full of Goosebumps!

Lauren Wasinger

paganmommy:"shame on parents for making them believe in fake things."


So, where exactly is summerland, again? How are the spirit boards working out for you? I used a Ouija once in high school, but all it ever said was "Danny wets the bed" and "Sarah has a crush on Smelly Todd." Hope your kids are having better luck with it.


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