3-Year-Old Breaks Military Protocol As He Runs To Soldier Mom He Hasn’t Seen In Months

Saying goodbye to a loved one is always difficult. As humans, we are social beings, so we often form attachments to things or people we derive pleasure from. Hence, saying goodbye is almost equivalent to cutting off ourselves from the pleasure we derive from being close to the ones we love. Whether it is because we are going to college, a different state or even country, changing jobs, or reporting for duty in the military, goodbyes are usually accompanied by sniffs and tears. Goodbyes can be sadder because of the fear that the people bidding farewell may never meet again.

On the contrary, reuniting with loved ones is an event that people typically look forward to. Different cultures even have ways of welcoming a precious person, whether by rolling out drums, dancing, singing, or celebrating with food and drinks. Fundamentally, people who have missed each other are always glad to meet again and spend time together. This was the situation a soldier mom encountered with her 3-year-old toddler, who was excited to see her return home after a long time away.

The little boy couldn’t contain his excitement and broke the rules to run into the arms of his mom, who was also eager to hold him again. Cooper Waldvogel was waiting with his grandmother and the families of other soldiers to receive his mom and her colleagues who were returning home. His mom, Kathryn Waldvogel, 25, had served nine months in Afghanistan with the National Guard’s 114th Transportation Company based in Chisholm.

A photographer captured the sweet interaction. The video then made it to YouTube in a clip posted by USA Today on Sept. 17, 2014, where it was received warmly by many. Keep reading for the details.

Cooper wasn’t the only eager person. His mom was also longing for her son.

“I was longing to hold him, that’s all that I thought about,” Kathryn Waldvogel said.

However, Kathryn thought she would still have to wait a while since her first sergeant had instructed her and the other soldiers to file into the auditorium, where they would be summarily dismissed without the opportunity to greet family members.

“All of a sudden we had to file into the building and get into formation, and I just look up and Cooper and my mom are right there,” Kathryn disclosed. “He just kept smiling like he was in awe of me.”

Cooper decided that merely looking at his mom wasn’t enough and ran across the room to her. Kathryn scooped him up and hugged him tightly. The clip, posted to USA Today’s YouTube on Sept. 17, 2014, received a myriad of likes and comments.

Kathryn also found the clip and looked through the comments, which she found delightful.

“This one,” she said while reading the posts. “It was probably the most tear jerking, humbling 26 seconds I’ve seen in a long time.”

She added, “It melts my heart, it’s so great.”

Meanwhile, Cooper had some experience waiting for family members. His dad was also in the military, and when he returned from Afghanistan, the little boy was waiting to receive him.

“He kind of did the same thing for me,” Cooper’s dad, Adam Waldvogel, 26, said.

Kathryn and Adam’s schedules overlapped, meaning they didn’t see each other for a long time. It also meant that Cooper stayed without each of them for long.

“He’s the definition of resiliency, that’s for sure,” Adam said of his son.

It was, therefore, easy to understand when Cooper wanted to play with his parents all day.

What do you think of Cooper’s reunion with his mom? Do you have a loved one in the military, or are you in the military yourself? How do you or your loved ones handle such reunions? Let us know — and be sure to pass this on to friends and family.

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