U.S. Navy sailor Ryan Morrow has been away from his family on deployment for the past 20 months. That’s nearly two full years of missing his three children, Madison, Blake, and Hudson. It is one of the biggest sacrifices the men and women of the military make — time lost with loved ones — as they serve our country. It’s also a sacrifice that military families make as they miss their service member and worry about their safety.
“I didn’t realize how hard it would be without them,” Ryan said, “to see them, you know, one or two times a year.”
This year, the sailor and devoted father wasn’t going to miss Christmas with his children, and he wasn’t going to settle for seeing them on a television or computer screen like normal. Instead he was going to get a little help from Santa Claus to give his kids a surprise homecoming they’ll never forget and the best Christmas gift they could have asked for!
Ryan’s older children, Madison and Blake, were at their elementary school for the students’ annual production of “The Nutcracker.” Also part of the school’s events was a visit from Santa to meet the children.
Along with other students at the school, Madison and Blake got on stage to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas this year. Madison’s answer was quick and simple but very heartfelt. “I want daddy to come home,” she said.
What they didn’t know was that underneath the white beard and big red suit was their very own dad!
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Once his kids’ backs were turned, Ryan pulled off the Santa hat and beard and simply said, “Hey, guys.”
The reaction from his children was immediate hugs, tears, and overwhelming emotions. It’s a surprise homecoming that will fill your heart with holiday cheer and leave you reaching for a tissue.
Watch this amazing holiday surprise homecoming in the video below!
Jacob H. is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist who currently resides is West Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys writing, photography, mountain climbing, and camping.