Being in the military and enduring deployments is tough for our men and women in uniform, but it is also incredibly difficult for the family they leave behind.
Spouses become single parents for the time they are gone and have to keep things going at home, and children have to be without one of their parents for extended periods of time.
This can be confusing for young kids especially. It’s hard to explain to a three-year-old that mommy or daddy is just gone for a little while and will be coming back soon. Their loss can feel like abandonment.
The Kohn family knows this firsthand. Gabe Kohn serves in the U.S. Air Force 8th Fighter Wing and has been deployed to South Korea since February.
Gabe has been separated from his wife, Frankie, and two kids for about eight months. During that time he has missed a lot of big milestones, such as his daughter’s first birthday. He’s had to accept that’s just part of the job, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
After months of being gone, Gabe was finally going to be able to come home. He couldn’t wait to see his family!
He decided to surprise his 3-year-old son Micahel with his homecoming. On Wednesday, he showed up at the young boy’s school and, when his back was turned, called out, “Hey Michael!”
Michael stopped what he was doing and turned around, recognizing the familiar voice. When he turned and saw his dad – his hero – standing there, he raced over and jumped into his arms.
“You came back!” he exclaimed.