Warmest welcomes

You might have seen this when it went viral last week, but in case not, here’s the most incredibly touching welcome home I’ve ever seen:


It turns out that there are a spate of such “welcome home” videos, showing soldiers returning from the Middle East to rapturous receptions from their kids…


… and their dogs:


We could probably create reams of social / political / activist commentary about war, soldiers, politics, etc. in relation to videos like these. But I just wanted to post them because the emotions expressed are so raw, real and intense. They make my heart swell with emotion, every time.

12 responses to “Warmest welcomes”

  1. ScottyGee says:

    Fucking hell! Today was gonna be the day I didn’t wake up and cry!

  2. Andrew says:

    Good lord these are adorable.

    If I came home from the war, my cat would stretch for a second, lick itself and then go back to sleep.

  3. Rogan says:

    Thanks for collecting a few of these incredibly moving videos. Even the dog one (especially after seeing the other two) had me on the verge of tears.

  4. Marleyfan says:

    I wasn’t on the verge of tears, they were a flowin’.

  5. Dave says:

    I’m not gonna watch these at work because I’ll bawl like a babygrown-ass man who cries easily. I’d like to suggest, though, that our country needs to have a lot more soldier homecomings and a lot fewer tearful farewells.

  6. swells says:

    It almost seems–well, perhaps “mean” isn’t the word, but somewhat manipulative to have these intensely emotional moments happen for these two kids in public–in their classrooms, with cameras in their faces. They are such overwhelming moments that they feel private to me–would you want to have this reunion in the middle of your fourth grade class? The videos are incredibly dramatic and moving because they’re so real, but that’s exactly why I’d want a little privacy for them to process this clearly wrenching, yearned-for, and even regression-causing moment–so they could curl up like babies in their dads’ arms like they’ve been pretending they didn’t need to do the whole time they were gone.

    That said, I’ve watched them over and over! Jeepers weepers! (The dog one is also adorable, but our dog reacts that way when we come in from taking out the trash, so . . . )

  7. Dave says:

    Okay, having watched these, I agree with swells about how manipulative they are. Setting aside the dog example, in both cases you’ve got a kid who’s obviously been set up by their parents and teachers, who have also brought camera crews along. In the second video, it’s clear that the rest of the kid’s classmates are in on it, too. Of course what comes through clearest is the genuine joy of child and parent as they’re reunited, and the genuine surprise on the part of the kid. But it’s really painful for me to watch the kids struggle with so many different emotions, and I suspect, as swells does, that part of what they’re feeling is an intense desire to be alone with their returned father and not the subject of a public/media spectacle. In their place, I would feel a degree of betrayal along with all the other intense emotions of the reunion. (I don’t mean this as a critique of this blog post — I just had a strong reaction to these videos that wasn’t just tearing up. They’re really complicated.)

    As for the dog, I think it’s always fine to make videos of happy and adorable dogs. They don’t mind.

  8. A White Bear says:

    I agree with Dave. It’s 5:50am, and I sobbed at each one, but I do feel weird about kids not getting to prepare for the idea of dad being home, like, “Now we’re going to the airport. Now we’re getting out of the car. Do you see his plane?” etc.

  9. Dis-Couraged says:

    I need to say this somewhere, and I just didn’t have the nerve to do so on Facebook:

    Maybe I’ll lose some FB friends over this, but I believe that the whole “protecting our freedoms” thing is a total crock.

  10. Natasha says:

    Dear Dis-Couraged, you know, sometimes sticking up for something means being in peace with yourself.

    I posted a stupid pic of me and my girlfriend drinking Pepsi from those 3L bottles. I promptly got a comment from a very sweet Christian lady that I should not be drinking Pepsi, because it supports gay people. I don’t even like soda, but I would down a 3L bottle, right in front of her, just to support a cause. I deleted her comments and made a calm point out of it. I didn’t care if she de-friended me, because after all, I could never sit in her living room listening to the words of bias discrimination and be OK with it. That was my line no one would cross.

    In my understanding, an individual’s moral obligation (amongst many others) is fighting injustice, regardless, if it costs one a broken neck or de-friending (which I know, sometimes feels like be-heading:) — essentially, it’s about that greater good we all believe, we serve. I’m known for living in the clouds and being naive, as much as, I’m known for being rebellious, stubborn, weird, rude.. whatever… I could careless. I don’t do it to annoy people, I do it, because I believe that speaking up (in peace, without hate) randomly changes people’s views. I hope that the small doubt, I can plant in other people’s minds, can eventually produce some change. Utopian my ideas are…

    Anyway, I’m not saying that you should speak up and lose your entire circle of friends; I’m just saying that passive resistance can go a long way against close-mindedness. If you don’t try to change things, who else would? That woman kept me, BTW, I’m sure, she’s praying for my possessed soul in her congregation though :) She’s been praying for my parents’ forgiveness for naming me the way they did. I’m OK with that, may peace be upon her soul.

  11. Stella says:

    I find these too painful and too private. The universal reaction of these kids, and I’ve seen other clips and they are all the same, is this total overwhelming reaction which speaks to their fears and pain and stress.

    I find the second one particularly uncomfortable as the reveal happens early on and then they just keep on filming instead of leaving the kid alone. I think looking back at the video clip in 20 years is going to be pretty difficult.

    As for the dog – it makes me want to advocate for animal rights – look how emotionally attached the dog is…