Sgt. Aaron Croot missed his son’s first day of 2nd grade, little league games, and every school performance during his 9-month-long tour in Iraq. Luckily for the father, he would get the opportunity to attend the most important event: his 7-year-old’s Christmas pageant.
Second grader James wrote a letter for a school assignment explaining the person he’d missed most the holiday season. Lining the stage with his classmates, the little boy headed for the microphone to share his adorable Christmas wish with the crowd.
“I love you when you are away from me, and I love you so much when you are near me,” James read. “I love you when you are deployed, and I miss you so bad.”
Before James could even finish, his excited dad jumped out from his hiding place behind the school risers. Sgt. Aaron simply couldn’t wait any longer and picked up his son in a heartfelt hug. The soldier actually hadn’t the slightest idea James had written the letter, it was a surprise for him as well.
James and his military father looked each other in the eyes after nearly a year of separation, one Christmas the 7-year-old will remember for years to come.
Watch the heartwarming reunion in the clip below!