Forget surprising your dog in the “What The Fluff Challenge.” A new viral trend has even the most jaded Internet-junkies crying over their laptops. So what could make even the most meme-hardened social media users cry tears of joy? Viral videos of soldiers returning home and surprising their loved ones after a tour of duty.
Whether the soldier wants to surprise their kids at school or a loyal dog absolutely loses its mind during a reunion, these viral videos are beyond heart-warming.
Watch Staff Sergeant Brandon Miller Surprise His 5 Kids At School Assembly
Staff Sergeant Brandon Miller, a father of five in Ohio, collaborated with his kids’ school to surprise his family in what appeared to be an average assembly.
When the guest of honor walked in to speak, all of Staff Sergeant Brandon Miller’s children were shocked and delighted to see their father at the podium in his camo uniform, the standard attire for U.S. soldiers following World War II.
Most #coolteens wouldn’t be caught dead hugging their parents in the middle of the gym. But when the Miller family saw their dad, they sprinted across the gym to give him a long-awaited hug.
“I didn’t know it was him. Until my teacher said it was him and I just ran to him,” said son Ben Miller.
The plan was executed with — not surprisingly — a military precision only a soldier could possess.
But Staff Sergeant Miller isn’t the only viral soldier in the news this Veteran’s Day.
What The Fluff Challenge: Veteran’s Day Edition
Private First Class Kevin Lord combined two of 2018’s most popular viral videos when he surprised his dog in his rendition of the “What The Fluff Challenge” back in August.
The video starts with Kevin’s brother Jacob holding a blanket between him and his dog Zephyr, a typical start to The What The Fluff Challenge. In the typical version of this canine prank, the human holds up the blanket — hiding themselves from view — and then dissapears, leaving a pile of cloth and a very confused dog.
But this challenge went a little differently.
After Jacob caught the dog’s attention, he quickly switched places with his Army soldier brother who had been gone for nine months before his homecoming. Instead of disappearing when the blanket fell, there stood Kevin.
And the dog went wild.
In this video, you can see Zephyr ooze excitement as she runs up to Kevin and spins with delight. It’s been proven that the average pooch is as smart as a 2-year-old child, and both struggle with object permanence. It’s obvious that Zephyr missed her human and was excited to see him after being apart for so long.
But Kevin Lord and Zephyr aren’t the only ones turning the What the Fluff challenge into viral gold. Four months ago, Air Force Wife Allison Devoll pulled a similar stunt on her dog Cody. In the video below, Allison and Stephen Devoll surprise their dog in an unforgettable What The Fluff viral video. In the genre of viral videos of soldiers returning home, this is an instant classic.
Oh Say Can You See (Your Mom in an Eagle Costume?
There are a lot of amazing viral videos of soldiers returning home, but Sergeant Desiree Lancey of Alabama might have the most heart-warming homecoming of all.
The mother and soldier spent the last year in Kuwait, far away from her young son. To surprise him upon her return, she enlisted the support of his elementary shool and disguised herself as the school’s eagle mascot for her son’s fifth-grade class.
When Lancey revealed herself to her son after singing the national anthem, Kael couldn’t even speak. He only hugged his mother with tears in his eyes.
“It’s hard being in the military and being away from them so much. But seeing his face, just that initial … when I walked in and saw his face, I couldn’t breathe and I was so excited, just bliss,” said Lancey.
These were just some of the lucky families who got to see their family members return home again, if only for a brief weekend visit. Countless others will be memorialized and honored this Veterans Day on November 11.
It’s not uncommon for soldiers to return home in other ways. Though the soldiers in these videos were in great health following their tours of duty, injuries will result in veterans becoming one of the 4.8 million Americans who need a mobility device such as a cane. More still will come back in flag-draped coffins.
This Veterans Day, our divided country will honor the men and women who proudly wear our nation’s uniform. These viral videos of soldiers returning home are heart-warming reminders of the sacrifice veterans make to serve the country. Honoring those fallen, whether it be through religious practices, a military salute, or a moment of silence, is widespread across the country.
The pain of leaving your family to fight for your country can seem overwhelming. But this act of courage and strength is what makes their homecoming all the more heart-warming this Veterans Day.
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