My Hero

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He’s ordinary

~ My Hero by Foo Fighters

Hunter’s POV

Today is show and tell at school. My teacher, Miss Hamby, asked us to bring stuff about America since Memorial Day is coming up. Miss Hamby said Memorial Day is when we remember and honor our soldiers. I asked Mommy why we only remember soldiers one day a year; she smiled at me but she looked sad too. Mommy has looked sad every day since Dad left. He’s not my real dad, but he’s the one I want to be my dad. Eric is awesome; he plays with me, tells me stories but he doesn’t treat me like a kid just because I’m small. Just cause I’m little doesn’t mean I’m stupid. Mommy tends to baby me, and sometimes I hate it. I mean, I’m five; I’m not a baby anymore! Lala and Jesus told me she can’t help it, she only does it cause she loves me so much and misses both Daddy and Dad. I’d asked Daddy during “guy time” if he minded if I called Eric ‘dad’. Since it had been cloudy all day and then the sun shined after I asked my question, I figured Daddy didn’t mind.

Anyway, back to Memorial Day. Why do our soldiers only get one day for us to remember them? I think about Daddy and Dad every day. I miss them both a lot. Mommy said not everyone has someone they love that is a soldier. She said most people just take our soldiers and their freedom for granted. I don’t know what ‘for granted’ is, but it doesn’t sound good. Mommy also said not every country in the world was lucky enough to be free and safe; she said we owe everything we have to our soldiers.

When I told Mommy that we had to bring in something related to America for show and tell she asked me what I wanted to bring in. I told her what I wanted to do and she started to cry. I thought it was a bad idea, but she hugged me and said that was perfect. Mommy helped me get everything I needed in a bag and we set it in a special place so I wouldn’t forget it for school.

The day of show and tell, I go to school dressed in my camo shorts and an Army t-shirt. My hair is still just like Dad’s. I asked Mommy if I could keep it like this until he comes home. Whenever I mention Dad, she gets this sad smile on her face and pretty much agrees to anything I ask. I wonder if I mention a dog when talking about Dad if she’ll get me one.

School is boring. I just want it to be time for show and tell, but that won’t be until after lunch. I look at the other kids in the class. Most of their parents work at Fort Bragg, some even have parents in the Army like me. But I’m the only one with a parent that had to go away.

Show and tell is finally here and I ask Miss Hamby if I can go last. As the other kids show their items, I can’t help but think they don’t get it. Most of the kids are showing pictures of their grandparents or great-grandparents that served in the military. Some of the girls brought in Barbie dolls wearing American flag clothes or uniforms, a couple of the boys brought in their GI Joes. I don’t get what toys have to do with Memorial Day. I’ll have to ask Mommy later.

“Hunter?” Miss Hamby smiles at me. I like Miss Hamby. She’s pretty and always been nice to me. Whenever I get sad about Daddy or Dad, she always lets me sit by myself so the others can’t see me cry. Miss Hamby gives me hugs almost as good as Mommy. She told me about her boyfriend Hoyt who is also overseas. He’s in Germany though, so she doesn’t have to worry like me and Mommy. Miss Hamby said I’m a very brave boy and said I should be proud of both my dads.

I take my bag to the front of the class. Please don’t let me cry, I don’t wanna look like a sissy or a crybaby in front of the class. I don’t wanna be picked on. I turn around and face the class. I glance up at Miss Hamby, and she’s smiling at me. “It’s OK Hunter; you don’t have to share if you don’t want to.” She’s put her hand on my shoulder. It makes me feel better.

I blow out a big breath. “No, I wanna share. I brought three items if that’s OK.”

Her smile gets wider. “Of course; please show us what you brought.”

Being extra careful, I place two of my items on Miss Hamby’s desk. The third item I take out of the bag causes Miss Hamby to gasp. I hold it carefully in my hands as I start talking. “This is the American flag my Mommy and me received when my Daddy, Sergeant Samuel Merlotte, died in Afghanistan.” Holding the flag tightly against my chest, I pick up the picture of Daddy in his uniform.

“This is my daddy,” I say to the class. “He was a brave soldier. He died trying to protect our country.” I put the picture of Daddy down and pick up the picture of Dad in uniform.

“This is my dad, Captain Eric Northman. He isn’t my real dad but he takes care of me like a dad should. He taught me how to play t-ball, he’d read me stories, and he let me watch The Sandlot. He’s my best friend. My dad was sent back to Afghanistan in March. I miss him,” I say as I sniff loudly as I fight to not cry. I take a deep breath before continuing.

“Being a soldier is hard. You have to do a lot of training and practicing. You have to leave your family if you have to go away. According to my dad, you eat a lot of bad food and take a lot of cold showers.” The class and Miss Hamby laugh which is good.

“It isn’t easy for those of us at home either. Mommy and I miss both my dads. My mom and I go to the cemetery to visit Daddy. As for Dad, he tries to call and email as much as he can, but it is hard because of where he is. We don’t know when he’s coming home,” I say as a tear slides down my face.

“So the next time you see a soldier, say thank you. It’s because they do the job they do that we have freedom. I don’t know what freedom is, but I guess it’s a good thing. Mommy also says we should thank the Marines, Air Force, and the Navy. She says they work with the Army to keep us safe. So make sure you thank them too.”

“Every time I see this flag,” I say glancing at he folded flag in my arms, “I think of soldiers, but I especially think of my dads. They are my heroes.”

I’m finished talking so I put my things back in my bag and return to my seat. Miss Hamby grabs a tissue from her desk, wiping her eyes. She clears her throat before speaking. “Thank you Hunter for reminding us how special our Armed Forces are. I think that’s all for show and tell today. It’s time for recess kids.”

Home              Keep Me In Your Heart for a While        Carolina On My Mind

27 Responses to My Hero

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  2. Kittyinaz says:

    Man the tear one is more than perfect for this chapter!!! Very good and… Well you know my mind in the holidays. Great chapter and very moving!

  3. bbrock525 says:

    Wow. You have me crying like a baby. I still remember every time my Dad left to go overseas. It’s not easy on any of the family. I think with the news media now adays it might even be worse. It’s almost as if they are showing the war going on live. When I uniform they look so much alike you don’t know if that was someone in your family ir not. I remember when I was young watching the news trying to see if my Dad or cousins were on the news. I had a hard time watching any of it when my son in law was in Iraq. It’s just heartbreaking.
    May all of our service men and women stay safe.

    • I can’t watch the news; it just depresses me and makes me physically ill.

      I do hope all your family members are safe and sound.

      • bbrock525 says:

        They are now. I’m with you on the news. Everybody always ask me if I saw such and such on the news. My response is usually no. I might catch something on twitter or Facebook. I never sit down and watch the news though. Actually for the last couple of years I haven’t watched much tv. TrueBlood, dancing with the stars and Big Bang theory are the only things I actually watch. I just don’t enjoy it anymore. I’d rather read.

      • I told my husband I’m swearing off TV after True Blood. All my shows that have ended this year have pissed me off: Dexter, How I Met Your Mother, and now True Blood. I’d rather read and write.

      • bbrock525 says:

        I feel you girl.

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  5. msbuffy says:

    Oh man. You’re killing me! I’m crying like a baby, even with the tissue warning! Those were some tear-worthy chapters. Naturally, Hunter’s POV went straight to my heart!

    More people who don’t watch TV! We watch reruns or sports. I’d rather read. Amazing that you can have 300+channels and there’s never anything on! Makes you wonder how we managed when we only had 3.

  6. lostinspace33 says:

    OK, I’m sitting at my desk crying and trying to cover it up so I don’t have to explain to any of my coworkers why. Wow, that was very moving…especially because it was from Hunter’s POV.

    And being a Carolina Girl (born in SC and lived in NC for the past 18 years), I really like the title of your next chapter! 🙂

  7. Wow. Just wow. Loved it from hunters pov. Like the dad and daddy distinction.
    Now. Back to work.
    Mags

  8. rufflesmom says:

    Such a beautiful and moving chapter. Just. WOW. Very well done.

  9. jroxraytech says:

    Wow the raw emotion! Great job. This story seems to always have me in tears

  10. kleannhouse says:

    tear worthy chapter all over again…. KY

  11. Mindy781 says:

    Beautifully written. It was nice to read the POV of a child. The chapter reminds me of what I need to be more thankful for.

  12. murgatroid98 says:

    Beautiful. Hard to read through the tears though. Like many of you I don’t watch much TV, just Big Bang Theory when my husband has it on, and True Blood, asking all the while why I put myself through that. I’m so thankful for you and others who write such wonderful stories.

  13. valady1 says:

    Need lots of tissues for this chapter..Hunter was being so brave, and reminded everyone what is really important…beautifully written.

  14. jules3677 says:

    Isn’t Hunter just too cute? You have done exceedingly well crafting his character. Writing such a young vulnerable character I imagine to be quite difficult & you have managed to make his so likeable without being bratty. 🙂

  15. ashmo2000 says:

    For such a little guy, Hunter carries some heavy baggage. I feel bad for the children that go through this just as much as the parents and luckily Hunter can help Sookie hold it together until Eric comes home. Then can all let it go together.

  16. VictoryInTrouble says:

    oh, man…more crying. What are you doing to me? I’m reading this after the fact so I get no tissue warnings–just, bam! crying. LOL 😥

  17. Crystal says:

    OMG! As a retired Air Force officer I’ve never cried during fanfic like I did during this one. Well written

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