One of the hardest parts about being deployed to a foreign country is having to leave your beloved family behind, especially if you have young children. For this reason, homecoming for soldiers is a particularly exciting and happy moment. Families tend to get emotional when they finally meet their deployed loved one whom they have not seen for a long time.
In this story, two siblings in Ireland saw their military dad return home from service. While one rushed forward to greet him, the other was so overcome with emotion that he simply stayed rooted to the ground. It was an incredibly touching moment.
Captain Ian Gavagan was finally home in Dublin after spending six months as a U.N. peacekeeper in the Golan Heights, on the Israel-Syria border.
Irish troops have been deployed in the region since 2013 to help the UN monitor and maintain a 1974 ceasefire between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights.
On that particular day in early October 2017, Gavagan was among the 100 soldiers who arrived outside the Casement Aerodrome military base, the headquarters and only airfield of the Irish Air Corps, in Baldonnel, southwest of Dublin.
The moment his wife, Maria, and his daughter saw him, they squealed with excitement and rushed forward into his arms. Gavagan’s exhilarated young daughter was shouting: “Daddy, Daddy!”
But her brother was too overcome with emotion to even move!
Maria was too excited to see Gavagan back home that it took her a while to realize that their young son, Sean, was nowhere to be found. After exchanging a warm embrace with Gavagan, she noticed Sam was standing a distance away.
Sean had stopped in his tracks a few meters away, hunched over with his head down. Seeing his dad for the first time after six months of separation, the adorable little boy was too overwhelmed by emotions, so much so that he couldn’t move his feet and started bawling.
Grandad Martin, who’s also in the army, then walked over to Sean. He bent down to check if he was okay. The young boy broke down in tears as he was gently led over by his grandfather to greet his dad.
According to Maria, part of the reason why Sean was so emotional was that he was unsure which soldier was his dad. “He’d gone up to a few guys before and said ‘are you my dad?’, it was so cute, the poor little fella,'” Maria told MailOnline afterward.
“When his dad eventually came through, his big sister just ran crying ‘daddy, daddy’ and I ran after her,” the mom added. “It was all too much for poor little Sean—luckily his grandad Martin who is also in the army—was there on hand to comfort him.”
Another reason for Sean’s reaction was because his dad’s homecoming had been postponed again and again. “We’d been told he was coming on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday and we’d had all these calls back and forward between Ian and the kids,” Maria explained. “But there were technical hitches with the airplane and it kept getting delayed.”
Little boy so overcome with emotion he can’t move as solider dad returns home https://t.co/3Qo3f3tIrf
— Metro (@MetroUK) October 12, 2017
Gavagan’s homecoming was captured on film and later uploaded to Twitter by Stephanie Grogan, a reporter with Today FM—Ireland’s biggest national, commercial independent radio station.
“The excitement of Daddy coming home after 6 months in the Golan Heights proved too much for this little boy who broke down crying,” Grogan captioned.
The video showing the heartwarming reunion will surely give you a lump in your throat. “I may have shed a tear myself,” Grogan wrote. Another Twitter user chimed in: “Oh wow- I’m bawling watching that!”
And Sean’s priceless reaction to his dad’s long-awaited return is absolutely adorable! “So cute, the poor little guy!” another Twitter user commented.
Without a shadow of a doubt, most military families will understand that feeling—the tears that come with joy when you see your loved one after months of separation.
Watch the video: