Though the global telecoms of today have made communication possible from nearly anywhere, there are still those–such as the men and women of our military–whose ability to interact with friends and loved ones is hampered by their duty. While this distance can often strengthen and solidify relationships, it can also destroy them.
When one U.S. Navy man suspected that his wife was hiding something big from him, she was able to use their lack of communication to her advantage. But the moment he returned home, this sailor received news that turned his world upside down.
Military men and women are often required to make the difficult sacrifice of being away from their families for months–or even years–at a time. But while being away from those you love is hard enough as it is, it becomes even harder when you discover you’re being lied to.
For Navy Seaman Chris Daugherty, his six-month deployment aboard the USS Carl Vinson proved more difficult than imagined when calls home to his wife Natasha left him feeling like there was something she wasn’t telling him. Given their history, this wasn’t an unfounded fear for Chris…
After his second overseas deployment in 2009, Chris returned home to San Diego, California thrilled to finally spend some quality time with Natasha and their young son. What he found instead was every military man’s nightmare.
The entire house was empty, no sign of his wife or child anywhere. As he’d soon find out, Natasha apparently had enough of waiting around on her own for her husband.
After living and raising a child alone for an entire year, Natasha decided to move back to their hometown of Oswego, Illinois. Though Chris managed to convince Natasha to return to California, things were never quite the same.
Over the next few years, the couple welcomed two more children, yet all the long overseas tours and the trust issues that had developed put a serious strain on their marriage. A child of divorce himself, Chris was willing to do whatever it took to spare his own children the same fate.
But after a few months on tour, Chris received a message from one of his buddies back home about Natasha. Apparently, something seemed “off” about his wife, and she was becoming noticeably more reclusive around the neighborhood.
What’s worse, Natasha had even begun to sell off some of Chris’ personal belongings. Try as he might to justify his wife’s strange behavior, Chris couldn’t shake the feeling that Natasha was keeping something from him.
As it turns out, she was. Natasha was keeping a huge secret from her husband, one she was dying to tell him. The guilt was eating her alive.
Natasha had considered emailing Chris dozens of times to break the news, but words on a computer screen wouldn’t do justice to a secret this big. To make matters even worse for Natasha, Chris’ life was now in more danger than ever before.
As a show of force, the USS Carl Vinson was ordered to the waters just off the coast of North Korea, extending Chris’ deployment for another month. This made keeping her secret nearly impossible for Natasha.
Natasha knew that she would be devastated if something happened to Chris before he learned the truth, and she debated telling him over the phone. In the end, Natasha decided to wait until Chris came ashore to finally come clean.
On the day of Chris’ homecoming, Natasha gathered their three children and headed down to the docks. Nervous as she was, it was finally time for her secret to be revealed.
As Chris ran to meet his children, he noticed that his wife was holding a strange sign, which read: “Welcome Home Baby Daddy.” Chris was puzzled.
Questions swirled in Chris’ head as he approached Natasha, but before he could ask she removed the sign and tossed it aside. Chris was stunned at the sight: Natasha had a baby bump!
At first, Chris thought it was a prank, and even went as far as to ask his wife if it was real. Sure enough, it was, and Chris took Natasha into his arms to celebrate his wife’s pregnancy of their fourth child.
As it turns out, Natasha learned that she was pregnant just days after Chris was deployed. From that moment on, she was determined to keep the pregnancy a secret from him until he returned home.
In order to pull off her ruse, Natasha stayed out of the public eye for most of her pregnancy and even went as far as covering her stomach when sending Chris pictures of her and the kids. No wonder everyone thought she was acting so strange!
Though the couple didn’t have plans for a fourth child, they both secretly had hoped that Natasha would eventually become pregnant again. The look on Chris’ face clearly shows how happy he was to see that their secret hope had become a reality.
Thankfully, Chris won’t be deployed again for several months, allowing him to be home for the birth of their child. And for those wondering at home: it’s a girl!
What a great surprise! Chris definitely didn’t see that one coming…
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