I've never doubted your love. From the moment that we met at that train station I knew that you were the only man I ever wanted. You went to your training and I went home, never dreaming that you would actually write to me. I wrote so many letters to you, and you wrote back almost immediately.
Your proposal was so typical of you. You went down on one knee and were shaking so hard that you almost dropped the ring before you could ask me if I would marry you. I've never regretted saying yes to you. Not once in all our years together. Our wedding night was so sweet; I think you were crying as much as I was when it was all over.
Do I wish that you could be home more often? Of course I do, but I also understand that you're out there keeping not just me but our daughter and families as well as our country safe.
As for our daughter, you were so afraid that you'd drop her when she was a baby and now she's growing up so fast and she's so much like her daddy. Oh you can say what you want to, but she has your determination and your lust for life. She's always asking where you are so that we can find you on the globe.
This last time when you were home was just as wonderful as it always is. Way too short, but oh so sweet. We never seem to have enough time to say hello, but you always make the effort to spend time with us. You spend time alone with Kelly and with me and you always make your time home special.
We love you Gibbs,
Happy Father's Day,
I learned something new at school today. We had a police officer come visit us and he told us about crossing the street and how not to open doors to strangers. I told him that I already knew that, and he asked me how did I know, and I told him that my daddy is a marine. He smiled at that, said that he has a few friends who are marines or in the navy or army or air force. He even has one in the Coast Guard.
Well that's when he changed what he was gonna tell us. He asked us how many of us knew the military alphabet and of course I raised my hand. There were a few other kids who raised their hands too. He had us come up and write it down on the chalk board, that was fun. And then he wrote down the police version of the alphabet. So now I can say, I love you three ways, not just two.
I Love You. or India Lima Oscar Victor Echo Yankee Oscar Uniform and now I can say Ida Lincoln Ocean Victor Edward Young Ocean Union. Isn't that neat? I really do miss you Daddy, but I know that you are keeping me and Mommy and the rest of the United States safe.
Lima Ocean Victor Echo
(I mixed them up. it's kinda funny that there are a few letters that have the same words with them isn't it? )
Hotel Alpha Papa Papa Yankee
Frank Adam Tom Henry Edward Robert' Sam
Delta Adam Yankee
Shannon looks at Kelly and smiles as her little girl finishes sealing her note with a kiss. Tucking the note in with her own, she then addresses the card and has Kelly set it out in the mailbox.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs seldom smiles unless it's a damn good joke or mail call. He turns in his bunk, wondering what Shannon and Kelly are doing when his team mate David Cameron knocks and steps inside.
"Hey, this got mixed in with my mail Gunny. Looks like a card from home?"
Gibbs gives him one of his rare smiles as he opens the card. Two letters fall out and Cameron hands him the one that lands on the floor, barely catching the name Kelly.
"Kelly your daughter?"
"Yeah, she just turned eight." He skims the letter from Shannon, tucking it under his pillow to read again later in private then reads Kelly's missive.
"Hmm, your father used to be a cop didn't he lieutenant?"
"Yeah he did, still is as a matter of fact, why?
"Oh, Kelly had a police officer visit her school. Apparently he was going to talk about home safety and then changed his mind when my little marine opened her mouth."
"Really?" Privately, David Cameron is amazed at the conversation. Gibbs isn't known for being this chatty.
"Yeah, he apparently taught them another version of the alphabet."
Cameron chuckles. "yeah it's a bit different. Mostly first names. I can write them down if you want to respond to her."
Gibbs thinks it over then nods slowly.
"Okay, I'll write them down for you when we get back tonight."
"We got a mission, lieutenant?"
"Yeah, gear up in twenty, well ten now." Cameron smiles as he exits the tent and almost runs into their commanding officer, Colonel Ryan.
"Something funny lieutenant?"
"No sir, just never expected a conversation with Gunny Gibbs like I just had."
"You must have caught him when he was reading a letter from home; it's the only time you'll ever catch him talking without reservations."
Later that night…Colonel Ryan peeks into the tent where Gibbs is reading the letter from Shannon. Silent tears are running down his face and Ryan isn't sure if it's due to the letter or the events of the past few hours.
"You doing okay there Gibbs?"
"Not really sir."
"You want to talk about it?"
Gibbs shakes his head. Watching a team mate die in front of you is hard enough. Having him die in your arms after he saves your life is even harder. Gibbs waits for Ryan to leave and when he doesn't hear footsteps disappearing, looks up with a question on his face.
"Cameron asked me to make sure you got this tonight." Ryan hands Gibbs a slip of paper. Gibbs takes it without opening it and Ryan sighs; he has a report to write and a letter home that he doesn't want to write.
"Sir? That letter you need to write? May I put something in there?"
"Like what Gibbs?"
Gibbs hands him the paper and Ryan opens it, reading the alphabetical names within. "The lieutenant wrote that down so that I could write to Kelly. I'd like to tell Mr. Cameron thank you for sharing that with his son."
Ryan nods slowly, "Ironically enough, they were both lieutenants; just that the old man wasn't military. It's going out with the morning post." He warns Gibbs, giving the other man the go ahead to write a short note as long as it's on his desk by morning. Gibbs nods then starts writing. Ryan watches him for a few seconds before heading for his own paperwork.
Gibbs waits until Ryan has left before running a hand over his eyes. The letters from home are even more dear to him now. He sighs, wipes his eyes dry and finally picks up his pen to start writing.