1. The son who just couldn’t wait:
Fort Worth, Texas
6. This solider kissing his son after a year-long deployment in Kuwait:
Warwick, Rhode Island
Illinois’ Fighting Illini’s Meyers Leonard had no idea his brother was home from deployment!
12. This Army sergeant kissing his fiancée for the first time in a year:
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Army SSG William Castillo’s Humvee was struck by an IED (improvised explosive device) in 2007. While under attack, he attempted to save his fellow soldiers, coming under enemy fire: Castillo was shot twice in the chest, once on on his right leg, and once on the top of his head. He miraculously survived (the only one in his vehicle to do so.)
15. The sailor who was finally able to propose to his boyfriend after a six-month deployment:
17. This U.S. Marine corporal meeting his nephew for the first time:
Eric Ralston’s 11-year-old dog Kermie was diagnosed with cancer shortly before Ralston left for an eight-month deployment. It didn’t seem like she would make it to see her owner return. When the sailor’s deployment was extended indefinitely, Ralston’s family was positive he’d never get to see Kermie again — except he was able to do just that. Kermie’s love for her owner kept her alive long enough to greet Ralston home from deployment.
22. And the mother whose face perfectly captures the moment you realize your loved one is out of harm’s way:
Windsor Locks, Connecticut