TO: Sarah Casey
FROM: Lt. Lance Casey
SUBJECT: RE: Hello! Congratulations!

Hi Mom,

It's great to hear from you too. I've been worried that the stress of all this might get to you, but I've got a great bunch of pilots with me who kept me out of trouble. So don't worry, I'm safe and sound and plan to stay that way as long as humanly possible.

I'm not allowed to say too much (regulations being what they are) but I do have some bad news.

The war isn't over yet. The sectors that bore the brunt of the fighting have seen their fragile infrastructure all but collapse. Confed's reconstruction program is going ahead as planned, but in the meantime they are going to need folks to keep the peace and clean out any troublemakers.

They cancelled leave for me and some of the other pilots. We're scheduled to ship out to serve aboard a different cruiser, and help out with this cleanup work.

All the details are classified and extremely confidential. Even I don't know exactly what this job will entail, yet.

I hope you are right about Dad being proud of me. Sometimes it's all more than a little overwhelming. I've seen two of Dad's old friends die, and lost a few new friends as well. Sometimes I think Dad would be prouder if I'd gone into engineering, or bio-mechanics. Then I get into the cockpit of the fighter and I know that's just a dream. Sometimes it felt like he was right behind me during some of those missions. I could see him just bite down and fix his gaze on me saying, "Good work, kid." You know that whole I'd smile but my face would crack look Dad would get? At least from all the vids he made for me, I assumed that's what that look meant. Really wish I could have seen his face outside a holo.

I don't know…I'm rambling now. Not a lot of time before I jump ship for the new gig, and I'm not sure when I'll be able to write again.

I was really looking forward to coming home and seeing everybody, but don't let my absence prevent you folks from having a good time. I'll be there in spirit, and freeze the leftovers for me.