I'm a sucker for "Soldiers Coming Home" stories. They never fail to raise goosebumps and a lump in the throat (some have rendered me completely unable to speak, which is a rare feat according to my wife).

The homecoming stories have (happily) been shared by hundreds and hundreds of media outlets, and invariably these stories are viewed by/clicked on in huge numbers. The ones I especially enjoy are the tales that feature some creativity.

Odee.com recently posted some really great examples:

U.S. soldier Joshua Carr had been deployed to Afghanistan for four months. His return to the states coincided with his daughter's third birthday, so he naturally hid in a giant box for her to unwrap.



Of course, you've gotta love Scuba-Dad:

After six months away serving in Afghanistan, Captain Hyrum Bronson decided to stage an unconventional homecoming for his family who thought he was returning in three weeks.

Bethany Bronson and her four children were swimming with a family friend when he suggested they record video messages for Captain Bronson, who they thought was still in Afghanistan.

Her husband, who was yet not due to return from Afghanistan, then popped up out of the water in a scuba mask still wearing his uniform.



From Scuba-Dad, we move on to Spider-Dad. The real Spider-Man only wishes he could be as cool as this Marine:



Okay, we've had Scuba-Dad and Spider Marine. Presenting...Santa Son!

A New Jersey mom received the gift she wanted the most for Christmas, wrapped in a big red suit with a white beard and glasses.

Leslie Ruggiero thought her son, an Army mechanic serving in Afghanistan, would be spending the holidays thousands of miles away from their home in Brick, NJ. On Christmas Eve, Leslie and the other maternity ward nurses at Ocean County Medical Center were told Santa Claus was there to thank them for working during the holidays. Santa handed Leslie a red envelope that brought tears to her eyes – it was a postcard from her son, Army Spc. Travis Ruggiero.

As she clutched the card, Santa took off his red hat, beard and oversize glasses. It was Travis, who made it home for Christmas, even though he was not due to return until March.



The great thing about these stories and videos is that they can be found all over the place. To all our brave men and women in uniform, and to their wonderful families, thanks for all you do for us.

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