Whenever we see a video of a United States soldier returning home from deployment, it warms our hearts and makes us so grateful for the men and women who serve.
All of these homecoming videos are moving in their own way, but the one we’re about to show is sure to have you reaching for the tissue box. Sgt. Mason Miller is a U.S. Army Reserve military police soldier. For his first deployment, Sgt. Miller was sent to Afghanistan for one year, but when he received word that he’d be able to come home a few weeks early, he decided to keep the news to himself so that he could arrange for an epic surprise homecoming for each of his immediate family members.
To pull off this big surprise, he enlisted the help of his parents’ neighbor and friend, former federal agent, and military veteran, Sean MacTira.
“I’ve lived next door to them for many years and we all hang out together almost every night,” Sean wrote on his blog. “Since I’m at their house almost every day, it was hard to keep it a secret when they were planning on surprising him when he got back. The tables were turned, however.”
On the day Sgt. Miller was due to arrive, it was Sean who drove to the base and waited alongside the families of the returning soldiers. When the buses pulled in, he said “You could feel the sense of relief and the happiness as that command was given and all the soldiers ran into the crowd, looking for their family.”
Sean then drove the young soldier to his father’s office at the Mayo Clinic, where he videotaped the moment that Dr. Bernie Miller got the best surprise of his life!
Sgt. Miller strides through the hospital corrider, and when he sees his dad’s secretary he puts a finger to his lips to let her know he’s there as a surprise. Putting her hands to her face, she whispers, “Oh my god, Mason!” She tells him to knock on the office door, where his father is meeting with two pharmaceutical reps. After a few seconds, and another, louder knock, the door opens and Dr. Miller sees who’s there.
Just look at his face!
Dad instantly breaks into tears and grabs his son for a giant hug. After several seconds of sheer, powerful emotion, the two reps in his office laugh and take their leave. “This meeting is over. There are more important things going on in this room,” one of the men says sincerely before thanking Sgt. Mason for his service.
We can all recognize the true love a father has for his son in the way Dr. Miller can’t stop hugging the burly soldier. Yet Sgt. Miller wasn’t finished surprising his loved ones just yet. The next stop was the office where his sister works. She was also thrilled to see her brother!
As if we weren’t already tearing up, the homecoming videos continued with one more stop: the elementary school where his mother works. Mrs. Miller held herself together just a little bit more, but you can feel the intensity of her love in the gentle way she holds her boy.
As Sean said, when you see these heartfelt reactions, “you can get a glimpse of what we fight for when we go off to war.”
Welcome home, Sgt. Miller. Thank you for reminding us what a close-knit, loving American family looks like.
Watch Sgt. Miller surprising his emotional dad at work below, and be sure to share.