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Spring Valley 3 Year Old Teaches Us About Sacrificing for Our Country

Sometimes the words of children are so true, so pure, they make us cry. One little boy in Spring Valley said something that’ll help everyone understand clearly how hard a soldier’s deployment is on family, especially kids. 

Michael Kohn is three, and has a dad proudly serving in the 8th Fighter Wing of the U.S. Air Force. His dad’s name is Gabe, and Gabe’s been stationed in South Korea since February.


More and more we’re seeing stories about how hard deployment is on soliders and their families. And in both cases, I think it’s really hard to truly understand their experience because we can’t experience it, because experience is the greatest/harshest teacher.

Enter Michael. This three year old opens a window into his world and gives us a glimpse of the love he feels for his dad. But also, the worry that so many kids feel when a parent goes off to a world they can’t really understand.

On Wednesday, Gabe surprised Michael at Kinglsand Elementary. The reunion is beautiful. Michael, full of energy said, “You came back! You came back for me!”

In two short sentences…surprise, love, and full force honesty. If y’well up with tears, I get it, I did, too. It’s a fantastic reunion.

It’s been knockin’ around in my head for a while, which is why I wrote this. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to mix missing someone with the worry that has to be there. And to kids, who have no way to understand time and what’s really going on.

Thank you Gabe…and thank you Michael. You probably don’t know it yet, but you’re helping all of us, too.

KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

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