Gotta Watch: Military homecomings
A father and son hug after dad returns home in 2011.
May 27th, 2012
09:46 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Military homecomings

On Memorial Day this Monday, the United States will remember troops who died serving their country. The holiday originally started in Waterloo in 1866 to honor those who died in the Civil War.

The last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq in December. Just days ago, NATO agreed on a withdrawal of U.S.-led international military forces from Afghanistan by 2014. In honor of the contributions that U.S. troops have made to the country, watch some of our favorite military homecomings.

Welcome home

Military homecomings bring out lots of feelings among family members. This compilation of reunions will tug at your heartstrings. Which one is your favorite?

School surprise

When a soldier returns after being in Iraq for a year, he shows up at his children’s elementary school to surprise them. See the son’s emotional reaction at :25 and the daughter’s response at 1:20.

Walking to dad

This was one of the most popular videos on CNN.com earlier this month. A boy with cerebral palsy was told that he wouldn’t walk, but he surprises his Marine dad by walking to him at his homecoming. The son had been working on it for months, but the family kept the new ability a secret from his dad.

Canine love

Humans aren’t the only ones who miss military members while they’re away. These dogs are ecstatic to see their owners return. Watch how macho soldiers are reduced to baby talk with their beloved pets.

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Filed under: Gotta Watch • Iraq War • Marines • Military
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. jlo

    Thank you everyone. Stan in case u didnt know freedom isnt free. Look around the world stan and tell us there is no danger. Really.... You are mental. Get help. If there was a draft u would not be allowed to wear an american uniform. You would be a draft dodger anyway......

    May 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.” -Thomas Jefferson

      May 27, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. J Hocutt

    You would think that CNN or any other media outlet would have the decentcy to place these videos of our nations soldiers on without an ad or commercial. Either that or pay them for the use, or better yet join them on the battlefield with a gun.

    May 27, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CADude

    It sure is good to know that homecomings for military personnel have improved so much since the 70's. Everyone one of them deserve the our respect and the best we can offer.

    May 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chris

    lol, Why people like stan bother anyone anymore is a mystery to me. Delusional people should be duly noted and then ignored. Thank you to veterans, families and all who have served.

    May 27, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mark Dayson

    What gets me in the heart every time I see these videos of returning vets surprising their kids is the look on their kids faces It's always the same. It's not really surprise, or joy, or shock... it's relief. Relief that their parent made it home alive, relief that they get to see them again. Imagine how much stress and strain that is for a young child to be carrying all the time. Will I ever see my daddy (or mommy) again? It's too much, too sad. Time to bring our soldiers home.

    May 28, 2012 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. Eric

    I am a vet of Afghanistan and we shoul not leave until we have completed our mission. It's easy for those that have not served to say "let's bring our troops home." Regular people really do not know the meaning of honor, brotherhood and sacrifice. Most troops would rather see this war to the end, that way we do not have to return later.

    May 28, 2012 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. Kommandant45

    Not to defend stan, but to the people who attack him so vigorously: last time I checked, the soldiers that fight these foreign wars have not protected any of our freedoms because last time I checked, the result of these wars has been a stripping of liberty. The PATRIOT Act, warrentless wiretapping, TSA screening, blacklisting of innocent people and the deaths of thousands of innocents in the countries that we invaded is ridiculous. Just look at the thousands of Afghan and Iraqi children that have no mother or father, or family at all because of foreign intervention to bring them 'democracy'. I respect those who served and died defending a noble idea, but the truth of it is, to those inside, the idea wasn't noble at all, and it has led to a degradation of our rights as citizens now with the blood of innocents on our hands. Just ask the hundreds of U.S veterans that tossed their earned medals away at the NATO summit.

    May 28, 2012 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
    • falcon7453

      What about the blood of the innocents on there hands? Why are you defending terrorists? Is it not enought that you can sleep in till noon, come on here and spew your crap with the freedom you have that you ahve to degrade the people that gve you the freedoms? We lost 3000+ soldiers, least you can do is say "thanks" for having a brass pair that i didnt have to go overseas. YEah, our government makes intrusive laws...do you know why??? You think its to annoy you?? Last time I checkedd 4 PLANES HIT OUT TOWERS!! They kidnap our contractors/Journalists and behead them. The Afghan and iraqi children mgith not have paretns to go to, but we have lost, brothers sisters, cousins, mothers, fathers, and CHILDREN to 3000 individuals. DO you want the people to walk? Guive them money and cower and yell dotn attack us?? This works well with pakistan, maybe you should move over there. I will personally buy your ticket out of here.

      May 28, 2012 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. m

    I want to thank all para and regular military service men and women from the revolution to now who gave their lives, were horribly wounded; and who still serve to protect our country. Thank You!!1

    May 28, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. Woody

    My neighborhood has many American flags placed . Too bad the American work force is not good enough to make them and soldiers come home to no jobs . America (made in China) . Plastic just like the American politicians like it .

    May 28, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. Woody

    They gave their lives now they are poor and our politicians are wealthy once again . No jobs to come home to . Thanks America for spending your memorial day purchasing (China) products .

    May 28, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. Amhlair

    Anyone else tired of this hyper-militarism in America?

    May 28, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. juggalo

    you want peace? prepare for war, you cant have one and not the other. good job guys and welcome home.

    May 28, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Paul E. Lavelle

    I thank you for your kind words. I carry a lot of luggage from my time in the Marines and from the time I came home. I am proud that I served but ashamed at how we were treated when we came home. Those scars never go away. We (or I) long for the hugs and waves we will never get. I am only thankful that we are able to welcome our soldiers home now. It matter not if they were in combat, only that they felt the same need that I did in 1969 to fight not ONLY for the U.S.A. but for Freedom and Justice around the World. If we dont demand and PROTECT Freedom and equality for all then we are less than we should be. Semper Fi

    May 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Glen

    Watching the kids hits you in the heart. Lucky i got out before i my 2 kids were born. Now my son is serving in the Army. How much prouder can a dad be. God Bless America.

    May 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Casey

    To all of our people in the military: Thank you for sacrificing so much in the defense of our country. May God bless and keep all of you safe.

    May 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
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