Marine Dad Celebrates Holidays Early With Son Before Deployment

TIMEMay 27, 2016

A Marine dad will be deployed for the first time since his 3-year-old son was born.

Knowing that he would be missing all of the holidays with his family, he came up with a brilliant plan that would make up for lost time. 

Staff Sgt. John York, 30, from New Bern, North Carolina decided to celebrate all of his son Bryson’s favorite holidays—three days before his deployment

“My heart melted,” his wife, Priscilla York, 33, told “It was super sweet.”

She told Epoch Times that Bryson gets “very upset” whenever his father would leave the house.

John, realizing he would be away from his son for about eight months, made sure he celebrated some of the holidays with his son. 

The first holiday the Yorks celebrated was Halloween; Priscilla said they dressed Bryson in his firehouse dog “Paw Patrol” costume and took him trick-or-treating around their neighborhood.

Courtesy of Priscilla York
(Courtesy of Priscilla York)

Next, was Christmas; John put up the Christmas tree that was stored in the garage, and set it up overnight. The following morning, Bryson woke up to presents under the tree.

Courtesy of Priscilla York
(Courtesy of Priscilla York)

Last, they celebrated Bryson’s 4th birthday a few weeks early, giving their son a cake and a brand new bike.

Courtesy of Priscilla York
(Courtesy of Priscilla York)

Priscilla, who was touched by her husband’s gesture, wanted to show her appreciation. 

“Since he did all the holidays early, I wanted to give him a really good Father’s Day present, Priscilla told TODAY.

She decided to surprise him with a video compilation of all their early holiday celebrations before he was to leave for service.

“I swear he sat on the couch and watched it on repeat over 1,000 times,” York said. “It’s something he’s going to be able to cherish forever,” she said.

Courtesy of Priscilla York
(Courtesy of Priscilla York)

However, Priscilla wanted people to know that her story is no different than any other military family.

“Thousands of families are going though this all the time,” she told Epoch Times, adding that because of her story, people can understand what military families go through, rather than focusing on her family alone. 

When asked how she planned on helping Bryson cope in the absence of his father, she said she wrote a book two years ago called “The Deployment Bear” for her son, which would help him cope when her husband left for service, adding that two years ago she wasn’t sure whether he would leave, but knew it was a possibility. He has been deployed twice before.

The book was written for children to show them how to cope when their loved ones are away. It is meant to bring them comfort and joy as well as boosting up their spirits. 

Priscilla, who has written two other children books, said she wrote “The Deployment Bear” because she feared Bryson would be devastated, but also for the many other children who are in his shoes.

(Courtesy of Priscilla York)

Although she has only read the book once to Bryson, she hopes her husband reads it to him before his deployment, she told Epoch Times.

“It would be more impactful if he read it before he leaves,” she said.

Bryson is not alone in this—John is torn about leaving his son behind.

“He doesn’t show it because he’s being strong,” she said.