“Ronin is 8-years-old and this is the 3rd deployment his dad, Senior Master Sergeant Mark Coffelt, has been deployed in 4 years. Ronin has a hard time when his dad has to deploy as his dad is his hero.
Every time Mark deploys he does make sure to send him a package every month so that Ronin gets a surprise from him while he is gone. Ronin will turn 9 on May 6th and he was worried his dad would not be home in time for his birthday.
Ronin asked me all of the time if his dad was coming home in time. I would tell him, ‘Your dad will not miss your birthday no matter what!’
Ronin would always respond ‘What if they don’t let him leave?’
Then I would reply ‘he would cross the ocean to get to you!’ And of course Ronin being himself says ‘The ocean is big, he could drown.’
Mark and I knew we wanted to surprise Ronin with Mark coming home so I came up with the idea to have a gift shipped from Qatar the day Mark came home. (Mark actually arrived home on Tuesday April 17th at 9:45 pm.) There was no way we were going to have Ronin see his dad for 10 min before school so we decided that Mark would sleep/hide in the basement until I took Ronin to school on Wednesday morning. When I picked Ronin up from school on Wednesday I told him that a package arrived from Qatar. He was so excited as he knew it was from his dad. And the video starts from there.
During the video while Ronin was reading the letter he started to get very emotional reading that dad would not be home in time for his birthday. I knew that dad was home hiding around the corner but it still made my eyes water with emotion. After Ronin read the letter and started to cry I knew I needed to re-direct his attention to the gift. After he opened the last box and read what was on the note (surprise) his father stepped from around the corner! Ronin froze and then was so excited his dad was there. It brought tears to his dads eyes and to mine as well. After that Ronin did not leave his side all night.”
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