SOUTH JORDAN — When she was just 11 years old, Nadia Lawrence decided she wanted to do something tangible to help bring soldier daddies home.
She felt badly for all the little girls everywhere who didn't and wouldn't have their dads with them for Christmas.
So she wrote a Christmas song about bringing daddy home even though her own father was not a soldier and was home with her. Her parents helped her record the song onto a CD and she began working to find ways to honor the soldiers killed in combat.
"I felt great empathy for those girls whose fathers couldn't come home for Christmas," Lawrence said. "I'd been singing for as long as I can remember, and I realized I had something to give. There was something I could do."
She worked with Steve James, Anjie Mickelsen and Marshall McDonald to get her song ready and recorded her song with Ron Saltmarsh at Symphonix Studios. In 2009, her CD was officially released for sale.
Now, she's 17 and a student at LDS Business College in business management headed to Brigham Young University to major in vocal performance, she is still focused on honoring those who give their lives for American's freedoms.
Initially the "Daddy, Come Home" CDs were sold at her high school, but her website (www.daddycomehomefoundation.com) continues to bring in money to pay for plaques and ceremonies to honor Utah soldiers. (Fifty percent of any money made on the sale of the CDs, which cost $8, goes to the "Daddy, Come Home" Foundation.)
She gets names from the Survivor Outreach Service, and after working with the individual families, sets up tribute services to those men and women who died in war. She arranges for speakers, musical numbers and plaques for the families.
Her CDs are not on sale at the events because she wants the focus to be on the families.
"We want to continue. We won't run out of people to honor," Lawrence said. "We want the public to realize the soldiers out there aren't the only ones making the sacrifice."Comment on this story
She's already written another song based on the story of the little boy who works to save the starfish even if it's the only one he saves. It should be ready for recording by the end of the year.
If you go ...
What: “Honoring the Fallen Soldier Tribute Ceremony,” keynote speaker Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff
When: Wednesday, Nov. 9; 12:20 p.m.
Where: LDS Business College multi-purpose room, main floor, 95 N. 300 West, Salt Lake City
Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with 30 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.