Sweet Military Dad Gives 190 Goodnight ‘Kisses,’ One For Every Night Of Deployment

As a kid, you cherish every night when your mom or dad come to tuck you in bed and give you a goodnight kiss. It provides a sense of security and most of all it is a small expression of their love for you. As a military parent, deployments make tucking your child in and giving them a kiss every night almost impossible — almost.

One military dad got an original idea from his buddy. The plan would leave his son feeling cared every single night of the 190 nights he would be away, serving in Kuwait. So Air Force Major Steve Dillenburger left his three-year-old son Sean, 190 ‘kisses’ in a jar — Hersey’s kisses that is!

Military Kiss - Featured 1
Good Housekeeping

“It was just something sweet at the end of the night and a reminder that (Steve) was thinking about him and loves him,” Mary Ellen Dillenburger, Sean’s mom, told TODAY.

Dillenburger was deployed from April 17 to October 25 and every night Sean would eat a chocolate from the jar and then brush his teeth before bed. It was a ‘sweet’ way for him to think of his dad who loves him and to countdown the days until his return.


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The jar made its way across four states with Sean on vacation and he never missed a night without a kiss from his dear old dad. Then on October 25 the kisses ran out and father and son were finally reunited!

“It was really sweet,” Mary Ellen said. “I was excited to see my son run out there, so I kind of hung back a little bit and watched how excited and how happy he was to have daddy home finally.”

Now Sean no longer has to eat a chocolate every night (which is probably for the best) because he can get the real thing from his dad.

What a sweet reminder to kiss your kids every night before they go to sleep!

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