"I'll love you always, near or far.
We'll do our parts
and keep strong hearts.
I throw a kiss to where you are."
Ashley misses her daddy. He's gone away to protect the nation, but knowing how brave her father is doesn't make his absence any easier. Ashley and her father make a secret pledge that they whisper every day after saying the Pledge of Allegiance, ending by throwing a kiss to the American flag. The pledge is supposed to keep Ashley strong until her father returns, but every little thing reminds her that he isn't home.
Ashley's dad made everything special. It's harder for Ashley to do homework without his silly flashcards. Breakfast isn't much fun without secret dollops of chocolate syrup in her milk. And, although Ashley's mother helps her practice the Two-Step, no Daddy-Daughter Valentine Dance could be the same without her father there. Ashley says their secret pledge every day, but will she stay strong until Daddy comes home?
Gary Metivier is an award-winning author and journalist. He is passionate about working with children to promote storytelling and working with groups that support veterans, active service members, and their families. Metivier grew up in Oklahoma in a family of twelve children. He now lives in Davenport, Iowa, with his wife and two sons.
Robert Rath is a book designer and illustrator living in Bozeman, Montana. While he has worked for companies such as Scholastic Books, Lucasfilm, and the History Channel, his favorite project is keeping up with his family. Metivier and Rath previously collaborated on Pelican's Saluting Grandpa: Celebrating Veterans and Honor Flight.show more