I had the honor today of helping the kid next door surprise his dad, sister, and mom by returning early from Afghanistan and showing up at their offices in Phoenix, AZ where we live. Watch their reaction and you can get a glimpse of what we fight for when we go off to war.
Mason and I planned this surprise for weeks. He got the idea from watching the Coming Home series on TV.
Mason has been on this Afghanistan combat tour and mobilization/demobilization for the past year. They’ve always been a very tight family.
I’ve lived next door to them for many years and we all hang out together almost every night. Since I’m at their house almost every day, it was hard to keep it a secret when they were planning on surprising him when he got back. The tables were turned, however.
I went to his unit this morning and waited along with the other families until the buses rolled up. After a quick formation, they were dismissed (first time I ever saw that happen). You could feel the sense of relief and the happiness as that command was given and all the Soldiers ran into the crowd, looking for their family.
He and I then drove up to his father’s work, talking non-stop along the way about both our tours in Afghanistan, and about my son who’s now back there on his second tour. I remember the first time I came back from war and it was quite something to see that experience from the outside looking in.
This is the young Soldier surprising his dad at work
Absolutely precious. Try not to cry. I’m just glad I was behind the camera. One of the absolute best proud, loving dad moments ever caught.
Then he surprised his sister at her work
She was so happy she couldn’t stop hugging him. I don’t think it sunk in for a while that he was really there.
Then we went to his mom’s work.
Sue was so relieved that her little
boy man was home. She’s still glowing.
After he got back to the house, we all did what he’d been waiting for the whole year – drink a Guinness and go out to In-and-Out Burger.
They are such a sweet family. It truly was an honor and a privilege to help execute this last mission with him before he got home and create memories that will last a lifetime.
I’ll certainly never forget it.
Just a week later and it’s pretty crazy how popular these videos have become. They now been featured on ABC’s TV show RightThisMinute, NBC Today, Welcome Home Blog, Buzzfeed, and MostWatchedToday.com Not counting the TV show viewing, they were watched about 60,000 times the first week, over a half million the first month, and it still continues to rise.
Also, the family really appreciates the nice comments that people are leaving. Mrs Bernie (which is what I call Mrs. Miller/Mason’s mom) is so proud that her son was on TV for something like this.
Thanks for all the comments everywhere and for sharing the videos with everyone.
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