By Doug Dunbar, CBS 11 News

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The story of Nate Mack is one that moves me. As mentioned in the story, having lost my own dad when I was 5 years old helped me understand where Nate is emotionally.

It’s hard to comprehend the loss of a parent. We live our lives taking for granted that we will all be together until old age.

Nate’s father was taken when he was 11, he had built so many memories that he will have to both cherish and to mourn in his most private moments.

I really don’t know which is better. Losing my dad at 5, with only one real memory of our time together, or Nate’s life with his dad. So many memories, but so many opportunities to have grief visit when you least expect it.

As the child of a veteran lost in conflict, I often wonder how my life would have turned out had my dad lived. Down the road Nate will likely wonder the same thing. One thing is for sure after meeting Nate, he is a very bright young man, strong and sure, gentle and kind, and respectful of his mother. He will make a fine man. That is testament to not only his mother, but his father as well. Nate adored his dad, you can see it. And as a result he learned great lessons from him. Something he’ll understand later in life.

A program that Nate is involved in has really helped him in the grieving process. Snowball Express is an organization that brings together children who have lost parents in war since the war on terror began.  This year’s annual gathering will happen in Dallas in early December. They are always looking for volunteers. It’s an event, that would be well worth your while, to support in any way you choose. Like so many support organizations, get involved and almost immediately you will be drawn in by the wonderful people who help, and who are being helped.