The service men and women of our country make huge sacrifices to fight battles on our behalf and keep the freedoms we hold dear. One of those sacrifices is being away from their families and loved ones for long periods of time. The only thing that makes this sacrifice bearable for most is the incredible sweetness of coming home, even if it is only for a short leave.

To mark this Memorial Day and show our appreciation for all these soldiers do for us, we have compiled ten of of the most moving videos of soldiers surprising their families by coming home.

There are tons of these videos out there and if you ever need confirmation of how hard being in the military is for both the soldiers and their families, look no further than any one of them. In every one, what you can see are people who wish they could keep holding their fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters and never let go.

Thank you.

Home for a While

Moms and kids are one of the most tragic separations when troops are deployed overseas. Sometimes parents are gone for so long, the kids don’t recognize them when they get home. But the moment they do, don’t even try to keep them apart. Suddenly, all the sadness of the long time spent apart washes away.

Home for the Hockey Game

These parents of a military son were invited to drop the first puck at a local hockey game to honor the sacrifices made by soldiers and their families. Clearly they were happy to pay this tribute to their son and his fellow soldiers. Almost as happy as he was to pay them tribute by suddenly showing up at home, right behind them, completely by surprise.

Home for the Holidays

It’s possible that military service is the hardest on the kids. How do you explain why dad is gone and how long it will be until he comes home? How do you explain why he can’t just come home whenever he wants, even though it’s Christmas? How do you explain what’s in that big box and why you should unwrap it right away?

Home for Graduation

A lot of times, the siblings are the family members who are overlooked. They sacrifice just as much sending their brothers and sisters overseas to fight their battles. They miss out on those big moments. They miss out on the small moments. They spend nights hoping to see their childhood playmate again. Because who else is going to roll their eyes with them about what Dad is wearing?

Home for the Hugs

Most likely it’s the moms who worry the most. The dads worry. The wives worry. The husbands worry. The kids worry. But the moms really know how to worry — they’ve been doing it since their kids were born. So, it has to be a huge relief when their kids arrive home safely after a tour of duty. It seems like a huge relief for this mom.

Home for the Presentation

Schools do an excellent job of educating students about the sacrifices military families make. They also do a great job of supporting the students who have parents serving overseas. This school linked up so the kids in one girl’s class could send a “hello” message to her deployed mother. Only, they did one better and had her mother just a little closer than she thought.

Home for a Proposal

This soldier really knows how to throw a lot at a girl all at once. It wasn’t enough to surprise his girlfriend by being home earlier than expected. No, he also had to surprise her by getting down on one knee and asking her if she would make it official. Thankfully, she was all for it and he didn’t have to surprise his commanding officer with an early return.

Home for Christmas

The best gift for Mom is the gift of you. This is especially true if you’ve been across the pond serving your country in uniform. She doesn’t dare dream that you’ll be home in time for Christmas, because the disappointment of not seeing you is too much. She doesn’t even dare suspect that you are in the big, wrapped box in the back of a truck, because what if you’re just a new vacuum? Thankfully, her faith is rewarded.

Home for School

Kids are very adaptable. Sometimes, they just get used to Dad being gone. They put on a brave face and carry on with their lives, all the while hoping deep down that he comes home soon. As soon as Dad does come home, the brave face is tossed off for a happy, relieved and loving face. And, if Dad shows up early at school, a surprised face.

Home for His Birthday

The bond between dads and their daughters is usually highlighted during wedding dances, first day of soccer practice pics and driving lessons. Rarely do we take a moment to think about what it must be like for a dad to know his daughter is in a dangerous, faraway place where he can’t protect her. His job is to be her hero, but it turns out that she’s his. This daughter made sure she could get home and hug her dad for his birthday.

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