#FeaturedFarrisStory: Special Thanksgiving Edition--MUST READ

"My name is Kristin, and I am writing this on behalf of my father. He is an awesome man and my sisters and I look up to him. There are four girls in our family and we loved our life and time traveling all around the country and living overseas. We knew families that were affected by having their dads have to leave at a moments notice, some dads not coming home. We were lucky. Our dad has always been selfless, and he has sacrificed so much for our freedoms. He served 22 years in the Air Force, with 12 of them being in Special Operations. He was gone quite a lot, with 6 deployments overseas, with 3 times to Bosnia, 1 to Iraq and 2 times to Afghanistan. He never smoked before he went to Iraq, and he told me about a good friend in Iraq who gave him a cigar to try. He said that after some of the missions, he and some of the aircrews would get together and talk about things that meant the most to them, and enjoy a cigar late, late at night. he said they'd just look out into the night sky, and that it helped them focus. He said they'd talk about what they were going to do differently to make life matter more when they got home. He said he wanted to be a better, husband, father, man for God, when he got home, but when my dad came home from Iraq and Afghanistan, especially Iraq, he was different. It was not as bad as some others we had seen, but he was not the same. He lost some friends over there, and some of them had a tough time adjusting to life when they got out and committed suicide. That has been tough on my dad. Some of the men who came back got sick, some of them, including my dad, lost their sense of taste and smell. He went to doctors on base for injuries and pains and tried to get help. He hates pills and that is what they were pushing on him. His friends told him to drink the hardest alcohol he could find, so he did and started drinking. He would never drink to get drunk, but he s aid the burn did help him feel like he could taste something and forget his aches and pains. Right before my dad retired, one of his troops came back from Iraq and brought him a cigar. I don't know what kind it was, but I know my dad is trying different kinds to see what he likes. They sat on the back porch and talked for a long time. I heard my dad tell him how proud he was that he made it back and they just sat and puffed on their cigars, and talked late into the night. My dad talked about how he hoped to sit with my grandfather and smoke a cigar with him when he got home from Afghanistan. That was to be my dad's welcome home, but my grandfather died unexpectedly before they got a chance to ever do it. I can tell it hurt my dad deeply and he does his best to hide his pain. The VA told us he is dealing with his own PTSD. He continues to serve even after he retired by teaching Air Force JROTC cadets in high school. He says our family and his cadets are hi s healing therapy. The cadets love him because he inspires them to do their best and he promised his cadets that if they will stick with it, and graduate, he will treat them to their first cigar too. My grandfather's name was "Ted" and I have noticed my dad reading his cigar magazine and he's been looking at your cigars. I believe he noticed the name, and I know he is a very sentimental, caring man, and he gives up so much to provide for my four sisters, and three grands. I believe that if I were to bring him a "Ted's Cigar", he'd not only appreciate it, we'd both honor my Grandpa Ted's memory by smoking it together. Three of us are in college and I am hoping to save up my money to get him a box of cigars so that all of us can get together and welcome my father home. My dad is always one to help others, and even if he wants something for himself, he will give money to us and do without. It hurts my dad that he lost his chance to enjoy a cigar with his father. He wanted to just talk and watch the sun set, and stars come out while enjoying a cigar. I want us to have that chance with him and let him know just how important he is to our lives."- Kristin from Angier, NC