Dear Dad,

I remember how, when I was a little kid, you made me sit down and watch the movie, "Cast a Giant Shadow." Although I didn't want to, I ended up loving the movie and remembering the amazing story of Mickey Marcus my whole life. Well, a couple weeks ago, we hiked the Burma Road, and I remembered how crucial this American volunteer was to the history and future of Israel. At the end of the hike, I was surprised to find that a memorial stands to all the "Mitnadvim Chutz L'Aretz," or Volunteers from Outside the US. The memorial is a giant Mem, Chet, and Lamed connected together, and there is a special plaque behind the memorial devoted to Marcus's life.

It's especially neat because I, too, am considered a Mitnadev Chutz L'Aretz, and it's something that many Israelis appreciate. I love being here and wish you could too. Dad, on your birthday, I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me and let you know that I'm thinking about you.