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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 12, 2006

Deployment deepens soldier's love in Afghanistan

By Catherine E. Toth
Advertiser Staff Writer

Alexander Hutchinson with his children, Kaia, 4; Willow, 2; and Liam, 8 months.

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Nani Hutchinson with son Liam.

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Going to the beach.

Waking up in your own bed.

Watching your children play.

These are the everyday things many of us take for granted.

But for Navy Lt. Alexander Hutchinson, deployed in Afghanistan since Oct. 31, these are the simple moments of life he misses.

"I miss taking my kids to the beach and the zoo," wrote Hutchinson, a 31-year-old local boy stationed at Pearl Harbor. "And unfortunately, I will miss my son taking his first steps."

But what pains him the most is being away from his wife of six years, Nani.

"This is the first deployment for me since we were married," Hutchinson wrote. "I miss talking to my wife. We do everything together. We are inseparable. I miss waking up with her."

Hutchinson won't return home until July. In the meantime, his wife has been caring for their three kids Kaia, 4, Willow, 2, and Liam, 8 months alone.

"My wife has the hardest job of raising our kids while I'm away," he wrote. "The real story is the families who are left behind and the jobs they do when their spouses are deployed."

So for Valentine's Day, Hutchinson wanted to surprise her with a special, direct-from-the-heart letter, thanking her for being a wonderful woman, mother and wife. (He would've gotten her roses from Fujikami Florist, had he been home.)

Here is his letter:

MY DEAREST WIFE NANI,

Though we may be physically apart this Valentine's Day, my heart is closer to you than the day we met. You don't know how lovely you are. You have a way of looking at me that takes my breath away. When I look into your eyes, my heart stops, reminding me how lucky I am to have you. You are the love of my life. There is nothing I want more than to be with you now. I ask that you be my Valentine today and for the rest of my life.

YOUR LOVING HUSBAND,

Alexander

Reach Catherine E. Toth at ctoth@honoluluadvertiser.com.