'Deployed' Military Dad's Appearance at Daughter's Gymnastics Meet Takes Everyone By Surprise (VIDEO)

Awww! 4

military reunion

One of the hardest things for military parents to come to terms with is being far away from home and missing out on all of their kids' activities, school plays, and everything in between.

And that's why Major Jake Brittingham wanted to make his return from a five-month deployment to Africa extra special for his family and, in particular, for his 9-year-old daughter, Emma.

Unbeknownst to her -- or her mom -- Major Brittingham arranged to surprise Emma at her gymnastics competition with his homecoming. (Making it even sweeter, it was her very first one.) And little did he know that he'd literally be making her wishes come true by doing so.

Before she took the mat, the announcer asked Emma, "If you had one wish today, what would it be?" She replied, "That my dad could be here."

Watch the video clip below to see what happened next.


OMG. Did you lose it when she saw him and yelled, "Daddy?"

That totally broke me. I was so happy for the two of them I could hardly stand it.

And it must have been agonizing for him to have to hole up in that office at the gymnasium all day instead of rushing home to his family. Wasn't it cool how he was still texting and Skyping the girls as if he were still in Africa? That definitely helped throw them off course. And the fact that he didn't even spill the beans to his wife, Kelley (or at least that's how it sounded), is even more impressive. 

It must have made the moment even more special for her as a mom, and also as a wife. Any man who will go to such great lengths for his child's happiness is definitely one heck of a catch. Kelley must have been beaming with pride to know how much being an amazing dad means to her husband.

But can you believe now that he's finally home, they have to pack up and move to Germany in three weeks? (Never a dull moment, I guess.)

What did you find most moving about this reunion?


Image via AmericaVideoMontage/YouTube

activities, military


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

LostS... LostSoul88

These videos always make me want to cry

TMK919 TMK919

No matter how long/short elaborate/simple, homecomings make me cry! I wish every service member could have this

tysmo... tysmommy98

I have a son and a nephew in the service.  In fact my son is in Africa.  My nephew made it back from training just a few days before his first son was born.  Then he had to leave right away again.  He's ok and home now with his family.  And they have another baby on the way!

cdjak cdjak

I have great respect and thankfulness for our servicemembers, at home and overseas. They put their lives on the line every day while assigned to areas like Iraq and Afghanistan, and sacrifice immensely for our freedom. There is another group of people overseas in war zones also, whose mission it is to support the military and provide for their every need while they complete their service: The Contractor. Contractors work for many different companies. Some carry weapons and work side by side with military members in and outside the wire. Some cook the food or clean the bathrooms or run the MWR's so everyone can have some stress relief and comfort. All work hard, most of them 7 days per week, 12 hours per day, without R&R for months or even years. The military does not run support services at any base in the Middle East; contractors are hired by the government to do this. Contractors provide every basic service including food service, laundry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, carpentry, power generation, cleaning services and recreation, just to name a few. They, too, are in harm's way. They deal with incoming attacks of rockets and mortars, direct fire base attacks and harsh living conditions. Sometimes they are hurt or killed. When the 'all clear' sounds, they dust themselves off and go back to work. Most contractors do not carry a weapon; they are helpless to defend themselves against an enemy. Please don't forget the contractor in your prayers. 

1-4 of 4 comments