It was an unexpected yet touching scene: on Tuesday morning, a three-year-old boy ran to his mother as she stood in line with her fellow soldiers from the National Guard's 114th Transportation Company. The soldiers were just back from nine months in Afghanistan and had filed into a local auditorium but were not yet permitted to greet family.
Three-year-old Cooper Waldvogel's lavish demonstration of affection has attracted national media attention.
Cooper's mom, Kathryn, isn't the only one in his life that has served abroad. His father, Adam, also served in Afghanistan, returning last December. Adam and Kathryn hadn't seen each other in nineteen months. This means that Cooper had been without both parents in the same location for one-third of his life.
"I was longing to hold [Cooper]; that's all I thought about," said Kathryn. "He kept smiling like he was in awe of me."
We, too, are in awe of this family who has served with such dedication.
Thank you to each of you who, like this family, have sacrificed so much for America. We wouldn't be who we are without you.