We all know how hard it is to be away from our loved ones and how much it means to finally see them again. No one knows this better than military families. Soldiers are separated from their families by many miles and sometimes over many years – nothing means more to a soldier’s child than be back in their parent’s arms. This military dad loved his daughter dearly, and he went above and beyond to make sure his homecoming was special for his daughter.
Second grader Imogen Nowak missed her father immensely while he was deployed in Qatar. When her school put together a care package to send to the troops overseas, Imogen took the opportunity to get involved. She knew how much care packages meant to troops like her father, so she decided to speak up about it at her school assembly. She never could have guessed what lay in store for her that day.
Imogen stood in front of her peers and described how grateful the soldiers were to receive care packages like the one the school sent. “This meant a lot to them,” said the young girl, thinking of her own father. Erik Nowak was an army captain who had been sent to the Middle East years earlier. As Imogen faced the audience of elementary school students, she had no idea what was happening on stage behind her.
Suddenly Erik came out from behind the stage and walked down the steps toward his daughter. “I liked it a lot,” he said to Imogen, kneeling down as she faced away from him. Imogen immediately turned around to see her father dressed in full uniform standing behind her!
Imogen’s facial expression quickly turned from confusion to excitement. For a moment she was speechless. Then reality set in and she exclaimed, “Daddy!” The excited young girl jumped into her father’s arms and hugged him. The love between the father and daughter was apparent to everyone in the room. This was one day Imogen would never forget.
It is heartwarming to see a family reunited after so much has separated them. This girl’s reaction to her military dad coming home has a timeless sentiment that anyone who has missed a loved one can relate to. This story reminds us how fortunate we are to be with the people we love.