Seeing a soldier reunited with their family is an experience unlike any other.
Military families bear a burden that the rest of us don’t have a face, the burden of watching your loved one willingly sent into danger for months and even years at a time—and they do it all for us. One little girl learned this truth at a very young age when her father, a National Guard Specialist, was sent away for seven months. It was her adorable reaction to his return that was featured on ABC News and touched hearts all over the world.
She obviously missed her daddy so much!
This National Guard Specialist surprised his three-year-old daughter at dance class, after being away for training exercises.
Military parents know that there is always the potential of them being sent away for long periods of time, and so was the case for Paul Hayhurst and his young daughter Isabella. The powerful bond between fathers and daughters is no secret, so when the little girl’s hero finally comes home, it’s a reunion that is way too moving not to go viral!
To ensure young Isabella’s surprise, her dance class in Hilton, New York came up with a brilliant plan to catch the tiny dancer off guard.
The dance class starts off as usual, with the younger girls watching the older dancers practice their routines. This time, there’s a mysterious present in the middle of the room.
With the surprise all in place and ready to go, the older dancers get ready for the big reveal as Isabella’s mother and other parents began recording videos of the wonderful moment.
Isabella watches the older dancers perform, before outcomes the moment of truth.
That’s when the dancers run over to the pink box, pulling back the black fabric that’s covering the top.
When they finally pull the top off of the present, Isabella’s father Paul pops out of the massive box!
It takes Isabella a second for her developing brain to register what’s going on, but she quickly realizes who is in the box and runs full speed ahead.
In the sweetest voice imaginable, Isabella yells “daddy” as she leaps into father’s arms.
If it wasn’t clear before, we definitely know that she’s a daddy’s girl now! The reunion was reported on ABC News.
In an interview, the military dad explained:
“It’s a pretty small box, I thought I was going to fall out the back end,” Paul went on to say: “The hardest part was being homesick, Seeing pictures and not really being able to talk to them. Everyone is back together, and now it’s time to get back in the swing of things and being dad again.”
The tear-jerking video was quickly spread around social media, putting it on a long list of emotional military family reunions that went viral.
Three-year-old Isabella’s reaction has been viewed over 9.6 million times, with 40,000 people who liked it.
Hundreds of people also commented on the beautiful surprise, many of whom were brought to tears by the bond between Isabella and her father.
We can never thank members of our military enough. Videos like this one show us how much they sacrifice to keep us safe, and also leave you with an even better admiration and appreciation for them, as well as their families.
To see Isabella and her father during their endearing reunion, just watch the video below!
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