Being in a military family is hard, not just for the service member but also for the family members left behind.
Deployments can last several months to almost a year and the loneliness and separation can get excruciating at times.
That’s why military homecomings are always so special. In fact, some families make sure that the welcome for the returning service member is as memorable as ever and the following story is one of them.
Senior Airman Ron Durbin was just returning from a 7-month deployment. When he had left, his daughter was barely two years old. But when it came time for him to come back to Box Elder, South Dakota, Ron and his wife, Alison, wanted to make sure the homecoming would also be memorable for their daughter, Adalynn.
Both mother and daughter waited for Ron at Rapid City Regional Airport. However, young Adalynn had no idea why they were there.
But she quietly stood beside her mom dutifully holding up a placard that she couldn’t even read. The sign read: “I’m here to get my dad. Just don’t know cause I can’t read yet!”
Finally, Ron made it to the waiting area. When Adalynn saw her dad coming their way, the sign was forgotten and dropped on the floor as she rushed to give her daddy a fierce hug.
It was a perfect moment in time as father and daughter just gave themselves to that hug, so much so that Alison couldn’t help but burst into tears herself at the touching scene.
Finally, the family of three came together into a tight embrace to seal the moment.
With Adalynn now three years old, the couple is planning a special surprise for her fourth birthday.