Army Dad Wrote 270 Heartwarming Lunchbox Notes To Daughter For Every Day He Was Deployed

When a parent is in the military or the army, it can be hard for kids to cope with the fact that they can’t see their mom or dad for months or years on end. The situation is hard on any child, but one serviceman found a way to make it a little easier for his seven-year-old daughter.

Staff Sergeant Phillip Gray decided to write his daughter more than 250 notes before he left for deployment in Afghanistan, and his wife, Kristen, posted a TikTok about it. Read on to learn more about this sweet, heartwarming story, and what their daughter Rosie thought of the notes.

Going A Long Time Without Seeing Family

man in army fatigues holding hands with woman in jeans
Photo Credit: Wyatt / Pexels
Photo Credit: Wyatt / Pexels

People who enlist in the military during times of conflict are sacrificing their home lives and safety to help keep their country safe.

It’s so important to acknowledge everything that our sergeants and other military workers do for America. In addition to risking their own lives, these people sacrifice being able to be there for their kids or partners all of the time. So, some go the extra mile to make sure even though they’re not physically present, their loved ones get a nice reminder of them each day.

Philip Was Deployed In Late 2019

military men departing for service
Photo Credit: Pixabay / Pexels
Photo Credit: Pixabay / Pexels

On October 7, 2019, Staff Sergeant Philip Gray left Fort Drum, New York for a 270-day deployment in Afghanistan.

Phillip’s wife, Kristen, told Good Morning America that before he left, he wanted to take his wife’s advice regarding their daughter, Rosie. So, he made sure that Rosie had something to look forward to on each day he’d have to spend away from her.

He Wrote Nearly 300 Notes For His Little Girl

screenshot of couple laughing in car
Photo Credit: @kris10grayyy / TikTok
Photo Credit: @kris10grayyy / TikTok

Because he’s a superstar dad, Philip wrote 270 little notes that Kristen would be able to put in Rosie’s lunch box every day. I’m not crying, you are!

Kristen recently posted the original TikTok of her showing the notes for Veteran’s Day, and the video couldn’t be cuter.

Watch Kristen’s TikTok Below

Philip wrote many different messages on the notes, including sweet, simple “I love you” notes, and notes with compliments for her on them, such as “you are so smart.”

On one note, he even gives his daughter an “order” to have a dance party with mommy when she gets home that day!

The Notes Were All Different

cte notes that phillip grey left for his daughter rosie
Photo Credit: @kris10grayyy / TikTok
Photo Credit: @kris10grayyy / TikTok

Most of the notes contained positive messages and affirmations for Rosie. Some notes included little doodles of the family whereas others included sweet happy holiday messages (such as Happy Halloween).

Philip told Good Morning America, “it’s a very emotional time. I missed all the holidays. Thankfully, this time around was just under a year so I didn’t have to miss birthdays as well.”

This Story Warmed Everyone’s Hearts

TikTok comments: Now that's a dad! This is so sweet. That's amazing!
Photo Credit: @kris10grayyy / TikTok
Photo Credit: @kris10grayyy / TikTok

People were very touched by the dad’s sweet notes. And I mean, who wouldn’t find this cute? You’d have to be insane not to!

The video’s comment section was filled with tons of positive messages like these ones.

One Woman Shared Her Family’s Method

tiktok comment: love it!!!! we do hershey kisses in a jar, they get a good morning kiss and good night kiss.
Photo Credit: @kris10grayyy / TikTok
Photo Credit: @kris10grayyy / TikTok

Within the comments on the video, one woman explained that when her partner goes on deployment, they give the kids two Hershey Kisses per day.

This way, the kids get a “kiss” in the morning, and a “kiss” at night. D’aww!

The Kelly Clarkson Show

kelly clarkson show the grey family
Photo Credit: The Kelly Clarkson Show / YouTube
Photo Credit: The Kelly Clarkson Show / YouTube

The family was featured on a segment of The Kelly Clarkson Show, where Philip explains that in order for his daughter to have a note each day, he wrote 30-40 notes a day for a week.

Rosie even shares some of her favorite notes, including “always smile, it makes everyone else smile.” Seriously, someone pass the tissues!

Kristen Even Posted Her Husband’s Return On TikTok

collage of phillip grey coming home from deployment and reuniting with his family
Photo Credit: @kris10grayyy / TikTok
Photo Credit: @kris10grayyy / TikTok

Pictured here is a TikTok that Kristen posted of the family’s reunion, with Philip and their daughter reuniting as she runs towards him. The family has a big group hug when they’re finally together again.

Reunion videos like this one will always get the tears flowing, to be honest.

A New Family Ritual

Kristen Grey and her daughter Rosie smiling
Photo Credit: @kris10grayyy / TikTok
Photo Credit: @kris10grayyy / TikTok

Philip even told Good Morning America “Now that I’m home, she (Rosie) asks me, ‘Dad are you going leave me and mom a note?'”

He tells his daughter: “Yes bug, I will leave you a note.” Overall, it seems like his deployment notes started a sweet new family tradition.