Kids whose parents are part of the military and spend months deployed in far-away countries know how hard it is when the holidays are just around the corner and their mom or dad can’t get home and share the joy with the rest of the family.
Lt. Tawnee Hinton is a U.S. Navy officer who has been serving in Djibouti, Africa for the last 14 months. She is a mother of four, Christian, Avarie, Leyton, and Amelia, and is many times forced to be separated from them. In fact. Lt. Hinton’s husband, Christopher, is also part of the military, so the kids are already used to one of them not being home for long periods of time.
“They’ve never known anything other than us (dad and mom) being in the service,” Lt. Hinton told The Southside Times.
Speaking of her last deployment, this brave mom said, “My baby went from a 3- to a 5-year-old in school. My daughter went from 12 to being a teenager. It’s hard.”
She is completely aware of how much her kids miss her, so on Christmas, she decided to surprise her 13-year-old daughter Averie in a way neither of them will ever forget.
Averie knew her mom was coming home, but she had no idea she managed to be on time for her school holiday concert during which the choir performed the song What Christmas Means to Me. Lt. Hinton was backstage and was eagerly waiting to give her girl a hug. Then, the choir’s artistic director Gale Roschi told everyone to get ready for a surprise and then turned to Averie and said, “Avarie Hinton, I believe you have a present under the tree.”
The moment she saw her mom standing right in front of her made sweet Averie burst in tears of joy. It was a touching moment which made Christmas a bit more magical for everyone who witnessed the reunion.
You can take a look at it in the video below.