For Military Dad, Sweetheart Dance Is A Rare Date With Daughters

MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - Little girls dressed in their Sunday best relished the chance to have their dads all to themselves during the Sweetheart Dance organized by RSVP of the Flint Hills Sunday.

"I really think he loves me," eight-year-old Lillian Martin said of her dad and their date at the Houston Street Ballroom. "He took me out here to have fun, to dance and be together in personal time," she said.

For Lillian and her 4-year old sister Lydia, Daddy and Daughter time is all too precious.

Lillian's dad has done three deployments during her lifetime, with one more tour looming this summer.

"These are just the kind of things I don't get to do all the time," Lieutenant Colonel Richard Martin with the Headquarters' First Infantry Division at Fort Riley said. "Unfortunately, I've missed quite a few of the first birthdays, quite a few of the first dances," he said.

"And I may not be here next year," he said. "I'll be heading oversees as we continue to wind down our efforts in Afghanistan," he explained.

For Martin's two princesses, having a sweetheart in the military means knowing their dad is a hero not only to them.

"It means he cares about our world and wants to fight for freedom," Lillian said.

Organizers with RSVP of the Flint Hills say they hope the evening will be remembered for a lifetime.


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