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Never Missing the Goal | Odessa Barattieri

My dad, Major Guy Barattieri graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1992. He served on active duty and became a Green Beret in 1997. He had a number of deployments around the world. Three years later, he transferred his commission to the National Guard and joined the Seattle Police Department. In 2002, my dad’s guard unit was deployed to Kuwait and Iraq. He was awarded the
Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his combat achievements.

He met my mom in 2004 and immediately fell in love, asking her to marry him only 6 months later. My wonderful parents got married in 2005 and my mom became pregnant with me right after that.

In 2004, my father became a contractor providing private security for organizations in Iraq. He was taken from us on Oct. 4, 2006, when his convoy hit a roadside bomb in Baghdad. My mother received the dreaded phone call one rainy October morning that changed our lives forever. I was only three months old at the time, so I don’t remember him in person, but around my house we talk about him almost every day. His friends and family constantly bring up stories of how he blessed their lives and how he instantly lit up a room with his overwhelming, gregarious presence. Even though my dad was taken from me, he has always been a huge part of my life. I am so proud of him and hearing how many lives he touched and all the good he did makes me proud to be his daughter. When people tell me I look like him, my heart bursts with pride knowing I have a part of such a magnificent man in me.

Throughout my whole life I have always worked to be exceptional at everything I put my energy into. My mom always laughs when she quotes my dad saying “don’t try, just DO” and that is how I attempt to live my life every day.

One of the facets of my life that I put 110% into is soccer. It was always clear I had athletic ability – like my dad I kept moving to higher level soccer teams from the time I started playing in 2nd grade. I have been on high school varsity soccer since my freshman year of high school and always been a starter. I was on ECNL in Washington, and then when I moved to AZ my sophomore year I got injured, but due
to my hard work and drive to recover, I was put on the FC Tucson Girls Academy team as soon as I was able to play. I played striker for both club and high school and helped Salpointe win the state championship. I also tried out for the FC Tucson WPSL team and played with and against college and post-graduate soccer players at only 16. I have received multiple D1 offers to play college soccer and further my career in the sport that I have loved since childhood. I am not sure what the future holds for me, but I am so excited to see what I am capable of.

I have ended every year of high school with straight A’s and continue to work diligently regarding my academics. I am very blessed, thanks to SOWF, to have been able to continue my education at a private, Catholic school. My mom believed with my academic achievements and work ethic that a private religious school was the best option. We are so grateful to have the assistance of SOWF so we can afford the education, and the school I attend now, Salpointe Catholic, is thoroughly outstanding in both academics and athletics. It also embraces the morals, ethics and values I know my father would support and want me to immerse myself in throughout my precious high school experience.

We are so thankful to have met Lisa Delong and for Evan Hafer from Black Rifle Coffee company for putting us on SOWF’s radar. They have literally changed our lives for the better and we cannot thank them enough. Each day, they continue to remind me and others about my incredible dad and have provided me with so many amazing opportunities that most kids have not been blessed with. They make me so proud to call Guy Barattieri my dad.

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