When the 6th graders at Carnegie Elementary School in Pittsburg were assigned to write an essay on the heroes in their lives, 11-year-old Damon Chiodo knew exactly who he was going to write about—his big brother, Devon Tomei.
Tomei is an Army helicopter mechanic who has been stationed in Germany, and although he hasn’t seen him in over two years, he knows it’s because his big brother is doing an important job overseas and a lot of people are counting on him to do it well.
So when it was Chiodo’s turn to read his essay aloud on stage, he started off his essay with “Who is my hero? My hero is my brother.”
“Hundreds of army missions depend on these helicopters,” Chiodo wrote in his essay. “And my brother must make sure that all of them are safe and ready to fly.” The 6th grader continued, “My brother is brave and smart. He is always there for me, even if I just want to talk. I am very proud of him for choosing to protect me, and everyone in the United States. He is not just my brother. He is also my friend,” Chiodo wrote.
Just as he finished reading his essay, he headed towards the stairs and but when he looked up he couldn’t believe his eyes.
It was his big brother, Tomei–who had dropped in from Germany to surprise his little brother at his school.
Chiodo’s reaction was absolutely priceless.
He traveled all the way from Germany to Baltimore and finally to Pittsburgh to surprise his little brother after over two and a half years of being apart.
The brothers shared a heartwarming reunion and Chiodo’s reaction was absolutely priceless.
“I’m just honored and this feels great,” Tomei said. “I didn’t think in a million years I’d be able to pull off something like this.”
“I was so happy and I’m still shaking from the happiness,” said the young boy.
Tomei will only be home a short while, just until the end of October, then he’ll be off to Fort Campbell, but for now Chiodo’s been given the day off from school so he can spend it with his hero, best friend, and big brother.