When members of the military are sent overseas for large chunks of time, those months can seem like an entire lifetime, especially when they mean lengthy separations from their families and loved ones.
As a petty officer with the U.S. Navy Reserves, Steven McGregor left his family’s home in Morro Bay to serve seven months in Afghanistan. That’s seven months of missed family dinners, school plays, and other special events, including sitting in the stands to watch his young daughter, Hailey, cheer at local games.
In late September that year, 7-year-old Hailey got dressed up in her white-and-blue cheerleading outfit, just like she would for any other game, and headed out to the local high school with the rest of her squad. Homecoming games are always special, but little did she know, “homecoming” would take on a special meaning just for her that night.
They were just finishing up one of their routines when the loudspeaker crackled to life. The announcer welcomed her dad to the game, and for a second there, she probably thought this is all just a dream. Then realization hits and her face completely lights up!
Is his voice going to be piped in over the loudspeakers? Have they rigged the scoreboard like the Jumbotrons so they can Skype or something?
Her mom’s standing just feet away and she’s almost certainly pointing over Hailey’s shoulder, telling her to turn and look. But this little girl is so completely shocked and overwhelmed that she just hightails it straight to Mom:
Wait, I’m not dreaming? This is real, it’s really happening?!
“I’ve been nervous the whole night. I’ve been dying to see her. I just couldn’t wait to see her, Steven said, calling fatherhood his “favorite duty.”
In addition to seeing his best girl, he also finally got to meet his newborn son, who was born three months earlier:
We are so grateful for our military servicemen and women and sweet moments like this warm our hearts.
Watch this tear-jerker of a reunion in the video below, and share to spread more love!