Just 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