Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Daughter is in Iraq

This is a picture of my daughter, Katie, when she first started high school. In my mind's eye, she's actaully just a little girl with a pixie hair cut and dress, sitting on a bench at the airport. After a lengthy absence in the Army, she was the first person I saw after getting off the plane. It happened centuries ago. It still seems like yesterday.

She gave me a big hug. I was home.

That little pixie is now in Iraq with the U.S. Army. I never had a chance to say good-bye. I won't see her for a year.

They never grow up. I'll miss her.


Anonymous said...

Godspeed Katie.

Anonymous said...

god bless

Tom Dietrich said...

My daughter is 7 months old now. It still bothers me leaving her for a few hours to do work. The thought of a year long separation tugs at the heart strings. Hope her travels are safe ones, and you hold up well, Bernie.

I'm sure you and your's will be in many of our prays.

Anonymous said...

my prayers are with katie thru out her journey and safe return, god bless her for the sacrifice and commitment she has made to keep us safe and free. jfs

maverick said...

my prayers go out to you & your daughter.....

Joe Hilliard said...


Please pass on our gratitude for her service to your daughter.

May God protect her and her comrades from harm.

Those who put on a uniform and put their lives at risk for our protection are truly the best of our society.

Lynn said...

Hey Bernie,

When I put my son in a car taking him to Temple University 3 years ago, I cried like a baby and he was only an hour and a half away. He had only the meager responsibility of having to get decent grades and to not drink himself into a coma, and yet I still was worried.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your little girl and I wish her a safe return.

a friend said...

I have a friend who came back from Iraq recently. Asking what he appreciates hearing the most from loved ones at this point, he responded saying "welcome home." He told me that tribute wasn't necessary b/c he took such pride in serving. In fact, he said it made him uncomfortable. The honor of serving was enough honor to him. Nobody needed to tell him that. Prayers were appreciated but his relationship with God was already on terra firma. "It's always good to get prayers," he told me, but he knew they were coming. Nobody had to tell him to make him aware. He just wanted to be welcomed home, not as a hero, but as family.

We really look forward to welcoming you home in another year Katie. Many of us don't know you in the slightest, but we'll celebrate your return as if you were part of our own family. Yes, we'll pray for you and your fellow brothers and sisters and we'll give you a grand reception when you return to celebrate your courage. But most importantly, we'll welcome you home to be with loved ones again.

And for you Bernie, we will wait along side you as friends should, doing whatever you need in the meantime.

Bill Villa said...

... amazing how much daughters can look like their dads (and still be cute ;)

Am saying a prayer that Katie returns home safely to you, Bernie.

And I too thank her for her courageous service to our country.

Anonymous said...

Please tell Katie that I said, "Thank you for your service!"

Bernie O'Hare said...

I appreciate all the kind words that people are sending kaite's way. I'm sure her mom does as well. I also want to thank Dottie Niklos, and will have more to say about that later.

Julian Stolz said...

God Bless and best of luck to her and her comrades in Arms. They are Americas finest and far better people than I can ever hope to be.

Anonymous said...


The heart-wrenching feeling you get seeing your child go off to a war zone is truly indescribable. Two years ago both of my sons were deployed to Al Asad Airbase in western Iraq. Having first hand experienced the process you're going through you have my utmost respect. Also please accept my deepest empathy and warmest thoughts for your sacrifice.

As fathers we always wish to shelter and protect our children. To take their place in a damgerous or harrowing situation. When they become of age and make decisions to serve all of us, all we can do is be proud, pray and thank them.
I count myself astoundingly blessed to be the father of two US Marines, and will for the remainder of my days on this earth be ever indebted to their service, and those who serve in all our armed forces.
My sincerest thoughts and prayers are with you.

Thank you Katie!!!

Fred Daugherty

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.


All my best to your family. I have the utmost respect for those who serve. Katie is a special person who answered the call to help solve a difficult problem.

I'm appreciative and proud of my newest hero!

Anonymous said...

Katie and my daughter were good buddies throughout Sts. Simon & Jude and Becahi. I remember Katie walking to her grandmother's house, loaded down with books and refusing a car ride because she was probably taught to no get into cars, even with people she knew. She is a very bright girl with a terrific sense of humor and I am certain that she will be allright. At any rate, she will be in our thoughts and prayers all the while.

If and when you learn of her location over there, let us know so we can send her some goodies.

God bless Katie.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 3:53,

Thanks. Katie's address is

O’Hare, Katherine
A1 FAW Palace
APO AE 09342

LSTresidentPIA said...

Why didn't you get a chance to say good-bye?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Because it happened unexpectedly and she only had a chance to call her mom.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


I'd love to read updates if you're so inclined. It's kids like Katie who convince me that WWII folks have no lock on the title "Greatest Generation".

I'll pray for Katie's safe return and in thanks for your family's sacrifice in all of our names.

Bill said...

Prayers for your daughters safe return.

If you do post updates, please include wish lists for things that your daughter and those she serves with need or want from back here at home.

Doctor Rick said...

bernie...are you becomming a patriot?

god bless your daughter.

Anonymous said...

God bless your daughter. May she be protected and may she know how much her country appreciates her.
She really does look alot like you.

Dawn Berrigan

Anonymous said...

My prayers go out to your daughter and to the many other sons and daughters who unselfishly put their lives on the line to fight and defend this great nation. You should be very proud and should be commended on raising such a fine daughter. I pray that she and her fellow service men and women come home safe and sound and SOON!!

Joe Hilliard said...

Doctor Rick,

Bernie is a patriot. Anyone who consistently fights for better, open, honest government and defends the rights of citizens is a patriot.

Patriots can wield a sword or wave flags.

Patriots can also wield a pen and achieve victories for liberty.

Now, Bernie is wrong about a number of issues and I will make it my mission to slowly drag him over to the "dark side".... :)

Anonymous said...

Everytime I see Charlie (Dent), I ask him when he is going to get our troops home, now I can ask him by name...

Anonymous said...

\\\"I ask him when he is going to get our troops home\\\"

Some of us have been asking this question since ww2. Troops in Germany, Japan, South Korea, etc. Glad to see you finally are awake and bandwagon jumping.


Ken Matthews said...

Thank you for your service and now..thank you and your daughter for her's. Your post and Katie's photo knocked the wind right outta me. My family and I pray for our troops every night and now we have another name and face "we know". She's part of the greatest military on earth. We look forward to her safe return and updates when possible.

Brickgrrl said...


My thoughts are with you. I hope you can find some solace knowing that you have such a stellar daughter, someone who knows about commitment and courage, someone who is a role model for her generation.

all best,

Anonymous said...

As a Christian, I am to forgive those who have hurt me. I wish your daughter a safe and positive journey, and thank her for her service to our country. The country too many take for granted. I have family, friends, and love ones who have given their lives to serve this country. I do wish they were more highly regarded upon return. You may now know how a father feels when his only daughter, and only love of his life left since the passing of his angel of a wife, feels when his daughter's happiness, life or future is in jeopardy, and his need to protect her. God bless both you and your daughter.