Onlookers Gasp As Two-Year-Old ‘Breaks Rank’ to Hug Her Dad at Military Ceremony

June 5, 2019 Updated: June 11, 2019

A close military family from South Carolina was impatiently awaiting the return of their beloved husband and father, 1st Lieutenant Daniel Oglesby. Daniel and his wife, Kristine, had no real idea of how their two little girls would respond to Daniel’s homecoming; would the little one, in particular, even remember her daddy? As it turns out, they had absolutely nothing to worry about.

Two-year-old Karis was so excited about seeing her dad standing in the front row of his military homecoming ceremony that she broke family ranks and rushed across the floor of the hall to hug him. She picked Daniel’s face out of the nearly 300 Fort Carson soldiers being welcomed home after nine months in the Middle East and couldn’t wait a second longer to welcome him home with the fierce hug she so desperately wanted.

Karas Ogelsby just couldn't wait until dismissal of the troops at a Ft. Carson homecoming.

Posted by Jerilee Bennett on Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Daniel was deployed to Kuwait with the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, according to The Wichita Eagle. He left behind his wife and two young daughters, 4-year-old Layla and his dynamite toddler, Karis. Kristine was careful to make sure the girls remembered their dad during his long absence, and one of the tools the loving mom used to make sure her girls didn’t feel alone in their experience was a beautiful book named Lily Hates Goodbyes. In the book, a little girl named Lily welcomes her dad home from a long deployment by running to give him a huge bear hug.

Back of camera. Today's homecoming. This little lady wanted daddy right then! Ran out mid ceremony, I don't think there was a dry eye in the whole crowd.

Posted by Halchak Photography on Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Karis, inspired by the story, decided to do the same thing during her father’s military homecoming. But the best thing of all? Strictly speaking, Daniel was not supposed to break rank until after the ceremony was over, but the doting dad was overwhelmed by his daughter’s sweet gesture and was impatient to hug her back. He bent down and gave his girl a hearty squeeze. “She couldn’t contain herself,” he told KKTV 11 News. “I wasn’t going to tell her no.”

Touching the hearts of military families (and everybody else!) the world over, the moving footage has since gone viral on the internet.

Layla and Karas Ogelsby have a big hug for their Dad, Lt. Daniel Ogelsby

Posted by Jerilee Bennett on Wednesday, October 7, 2015

After getting the special hug she needed, Karis ran back to her mom, elated. “That moment was about the family,” Daniel later shared in an interview with Today, “so I figured I’d greet her, give her a kiss on the head, and then tell her I’d meet up with her momentarily after we were done with the presentation. That’s their moment,” he added. “It’s tough being away from family for eight-plus months. There aren’t many people who will stand in [the children’s] way of seeing their parents, and it definitely wasn’t going to be me.”

Little girl runs to dad

Best video of the day! A little girl couldn't wait for a homecoming ceremony to end at Fort Carson before she ran to her Daddy! KKTV photojournalist Pedro Laumbach captured this awesome moment. We know you'll "like" it as much as we do in our newsroom.

Posted by KKTV 11 News on Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Kristine knew that her girls wanted to greet their long-missed dad in the same way as Lily from the children’s book, and she fully encouraged their loving ambition. Although, “I had no idea that Karis was actually going to do it during the ceremony,” she later admitted. “But looking back,” Kristine added, “she has no idea what the ceremony means or what the restrictions are.” Luckily for everybody involved, Karis got her hug, Daniel enjoyed the sweetest moment, and the internet shared in a heartwarming video that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Layla and Karas walk hand in hand with their Dad, Lt. Daniel Ogelsby.

Posted by Jerilee Bennett on Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Daniel agreed that being away from family is “the toughest part of the entire job.” Reunions don’t fully make up for the lost time, he explained, but that first embrace is a “sweet moment” indeed and well worth waiting for.