06/13/2014 12:27 pm ET Updated Aug 13, 2014

My Daddy Wears a Uniform

BJ Gallagher

My daddy wears a uniform.

I think he's very brave.
He goes to work each day
to keep all the people safe.

He looks so strong in his uniform,
all fresh and crisp and clean.
He stands up straight,
his head held high,
as he leaves to go to work.

Other daddies
wear uniforms too ...
some blue,
some green,
some white.
Some uniforms are brown,
or khaki.
And many have shiny buttons,
or medals.

But the color of the uniform
and its decorations
don't really matter ...
It's the daddy
who's wearing it
that's important.
He is a protector,
a fighter,
a leader,
a hero -
making things safe
for you and me.

My daddy wears a uniform ...
and it makes me feel so proud.

I'm happy he's my daddy -
though I don't understand
exactly what he does.
Some of his work is simple
and easy for him to explain.

But some of it
is grown-up stuff -
too confusing for a kid like me.

My daddy wears a uniform ...
and sometimes I'm afraid.

What if he gets hurt
at work?

I worry.

What if he
can't come home?

My mom listens to my fears
and says, "It's OK,"
'cause sometimes
she's afraid, too.
It helps
to talk about my feelings
with someone who understands.

My daddy wears a uniform ...
and sometimes
his work is dangerous.
He's smart
and strong
and does everything he can
to be careful.

But keeping other people safe
means that sometimes
you're not always safe yourself.

My daddy wears a uniform ...
and sometimes it gets dirty.
On days like that
Daddy comes home very tired.
But he says that
he always feels OK
once he's home with me.

I don't wear a uniform ...
but my daddy tells me
that I am brave, too.

I stand up straight
and hold my head high
when I kiss him
and wave goodbye.

I don't always feel brave,
but my daddy says I am,
so I believe him.

I don't wear a uniform ...
but my daddy tells me
he is proud of me.
He says my job
is to be
the very best ME
I can be each day.
So I try.

I don't wear a uniform ...
but my Daddy loves me
very much.
He says that
my happy face
is his real reward -
better than
all the shiny buttons,
and medals.

My daddy wears a uniform ...
and I just wear my T-shirt.
But he's my hero
and I am his ...
and that's the best thing
in the whole, wide world.

BJ Gallagher is the daughter of Kenneth H. Gallagher, an Air Force pilot who served for over 30 years, fought in three wars and moved his family across three continents. BJ wrote this children's story on the occasion of her dad's 90th birthday... to honor all the daddies who wear uniforms and the kids who love them.