As he walked with his fellow soldiers, he was prepared to leave for his next assignment. The time he spent at home was too short, and his deployment would be long, but he was used to that. Sometimes he wondered if his family felt his absence more than he did. He turned to say goodbye, hoping his family knew that he loved them, but what he saw took away his breath.
Military farewells are usually emotional, and so are the reunions. Josiah James went to Family Day at the ballpark with his mother and sister. Josiah was chosen to throw the opening pitch, but what he didn't know was that the man behind the catcher's mask was none other than his father, Staff Sgt. Jesse James. His father had just gotten home from spending a year in Korea, and when Jesse took of the mask Josiah could be heard screaming "Daddy!"
Check out the next picture of a loving father seeing his princess again!
The soldiers in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard were finally home from Kuwait. The families were anxiously waiting as the buses drove in. Three-year-old Lily Gudaitis was wearing a red, white, and, blue tutu, with a shirt that read “Your princess missed you." Once she saw her dad, Sgt. Charles Gudaitis, she ran towards him to jump right into his arms.
These boys had no idea what waited for them when they went to school one day.
Damon Ricky, who's in the second grade, was waiting with his brother Noah in the hallway, preparing for a parade. All of the kids had USA-themed signs meant to welcome home a soldier. Damon and Noah had no idea that the soldier was their dad, Specialist Mars Ricky, who had been overseas for a year. As soon as Ricky walked down the hallway, Damon yelled "Daddy" and ran to him for a hug.
Unfortunately, some hugs are meant for goodbyes.
Approximately 170 soldiers in the California Army National Guard were preparing to leave for a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan. The children of Sgt. James Fontenot, Scarlett and James, went with him to the Oroville National Guard office to say farewell. The kids told him how much they'd miss him as they hugged goodbye.
Sometimes seeing heartwarming reunions are better than the game you came to watch.
A woman was with her three children at a basketball game when the announcer picked them to answer a trivia question to win tickets to the movies. But instead of a trivia question on the screen, there was her husband, Staff Sgt. Nathan Nenninger, who had just returned from Afghanistan. When the stadium door opened, Sgt. Nenninger walked out, and his wife ran to him for a hug that made everyone cheer.
And there are times when the people doing the surprising are actually being surprised.
A woman and her seven kids went to the airport to welcome their soldier home from being deployed. As the family patiently waited at the arrival gate, while holding a huge banner, they had no clue that their soldier had a surprise in store for them. He approached from behind, and as they turned around they couldn't help but smile and laugh and exchange hugs.
It's nice when surprises come in pairs.
Germaine has 7 children, 16 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren. Her daughter, Dawna, had a huge surprise party planned for her 80th birthday. But the real surprise was her son, Cory, who was home from Fort Bragg. As everyone was wishing Germaine a happy birthday, Cory showed up, which caused his mother to scream "Oh my God!"
There are times when the surprise doesn't matter as much a being together.
There were dozens of families gathered together to wait for the arrival of their loved ones from overseas. But there was no reunion quite as special than that of a soldier, his wife, his daughter, and his son, who was sick. Even though his son was on oxygen, his mother made sure that he could be there when his dad got off of the plane, which was more than worth the effort.
And don't forget about the soldier who turned around to see huge surprise!
The Spanish Royal Air Force was leaving for the Mediterranean. They were given the task of breaking up the smuggle rings that were taking advantage of the refugees and migrants from Asia and Africa. As they walked across the tarmac at Moron Air Base in Seville, there was one soldier who turned around to see his daughter running after him. She needed one last hug and he had no problem giving her one, regardless of the protocol.
There's no better present than what these next boys received.
The two little boys were standing in front of the package, excited to open it. It was a gift from their dad who was deployed at the time. As they tried to cut through the tape, a man came up behind them. It was their dad! Neither one of the boys knew what was going on, until one of the turned around. The boys hugged their dad, as they whispered that they missed him.
When you don't realize there's more than one surprise...
It was a young lady's birthday, and her family and friends had gathered to celebrate. As she walked through the door, they all yelled "Surprise!" But what she didn't know was that her brother, who had just gotten home from deployment, was at the top of the stairs, hidden from sight. As soon as she saw him, she covered her face and began crying, but only tears of joy.
Reunions at baseball games are always nice to watch.
A woman was at a baseball game with her two kids when all of a sudden the MC made an announcement, and a man walked out holding a flower bouquet. As he got to the middle of the field, he fell to his knees, and a little girl ran towards his outstretched arms. The woman and her other child then ran towards them to welcome their soldier home.
A surprise doesn't always have to make a huge scene.
As the soldier was walking down the sidewalk, his friend was following, recording the whole thing. The cameraman said “stop walking so fast,” but the soldier was more than excited. He walked inside of a crowded restaurant, and began to crouch so he wouldn't be noticed. Finally, he was at a large table where his family was eating. His mother exclaimed, "oh my god!" And then she quickly got up to give him a hug. Soon, the whole family was exchanging hugs.
But there's nothing quite like a little girl seeing her daddy again.
A hearing-impaired little girl was in school when her teacher told her that her father, who was gone on deployment, was calling her on Facetime to say hello. As she sat on the computer talking to him, she had no clue he was actually in the hallway. The surprised look on her face as he walked in is truly worth the sacrifice.