I defy readers to keep a dry eye through this video of a surprise visit to a 9-year-old girl in a Chino, California school by her mother. In this case, Mom is also First Class Petty Officer Toni Debem, who just spent the last five months in the Arabian Gulf on the USS John Stennis, leaving behind her daughter Nadia and a 16-month old son with her husband. Instead of waiting to meet her family a few days from now, Debem came home early and arranged the surprise, to the tearful delight of Nadia:
A Navy petty officer returned from her deployment a little early to surprise a VIP – her 9-year-old daughter.
First Class Petty Officer Toni Debem, who had been at sea since July 2011, tapped her daughter’s shoulder as she sat with her third-grade class at Rhodes Elementary School in Chino.
Nadia turned and squealed when she saw who had tapped her on the shoulder.
“Mommy!” Nadia said, jumping out of her chair and into her mother’s arms. Nadia buried her face into her mother’s neck and started crying. “I miss you!”
It may not be news, but it’s a reminder of the sacrifices our men and women in the armed forces make to serve and protect our nation. On behalf of all those who serve, it’s a good palate cleanser for a Wednesday. Welcome home, Mom, and we thank you for your service and sacrifice.