These Stunning Photos of a Military Dad Reuniting With His Family Will Make Your Heart Swell
"Daddy's finally home and all is good in the world."
Brittany Watson, 22, a professional photographer based in Senoia, Georgia, shot the wedding of David and Mary Chevalier a few years ago. So when the couple reached out to her recently to ask if she would take some photos of David, a member of the army, reuniting with his family after a long deployment, she enthusiastically said yes. On September 28th, Watson met Mary at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, Georgia, and captured the moments that David embraced his wife, hugged his four-year-old son, Gage, and met his six-month-old son, Caspian, for the very first time.
The photo shoot is so moving that it immediately went viral on Facebook on Thursday, gaining more than 20,000 likes in just a day. Here, Watson shares with Best Life what it was like being at the military homecoming and the story behind these stunning photos. (For more of Watson's photography, check out her Facebook or Instagram.)
Firstly, the reunion was a surprise for Gage.
"All of David's extended family was there and they all knew he was coming, except for his four-year-old, Gage," Watson told Best Life. "He really loves trains, so he was just told he was going for a special day at the museum. He had no idea he would be seeing his dad."
Mary made Gage close his eyes as she walked over to David.
"I had David stand on the other side of a train that they were going to ride," Watson said.
The look on his face when he finally saw his dad again is simply too much to handle.
As soon as he saw his father, Gage immediately ran over to him with a look of unbridled joy.
His daddy was finally home!
Gage leapt right into David's arms. "They hugged and had the sweetest moment," Watson said.
Of course, there were tears.
While Watson couldn't disclose where David had been or exactly how long he'd been away, it was definitely far and long—so it was an emotional reunion.
And there were many more hugs.
"It was really special for Gage and his dad," Watson said. "You could see the joy on Gage's face and it was the sweetest thing in the world."
David couldn't get over how much Gage had grown.
"Gage was a lot younger when he left, so David was marveling at how much he's grown and how smart he is now," Watson said.
But then came another special moment: David meeting six-month-old Caspian.
To celebrate Caspian meeting his father for the very first time, Mary made a sign that read: "I've waited my entire life to meet you, daddy!"
The moment they met, it was hard for David to hold back the tears.
And Gage was excited for his brother to see what a great dad they share.
The love in his eyes would give anyone goosebumps.
"Caspian was just like, 'This is my daddy,'" Watson said.
And here's the first time David got to hold his younger son.
"He seemed to already know him," she added.
And finally, Mary had her turn.
Gage wasn't the only one who got a sweet surprise on this special day: Mary was initially supposed to be at work, so David was expecting to just see the kids and his extended family. Reuniting with his wife, he thought, would have to wait.
Their reunion couldn't have been sweeter.
Mary managed to get the day off at the last minute, and the two shared a beautiful embrace.
The whole family, together again.
Afterwards, they took a few family portraits.
The photos touched a lot of hearts.
Watson said she felt shocked and blessed by the response to the photo shoot on social media.
"I've been part of their journey together, so it meant a lot to me that they got the attention that they have," she said.
Each image deserves to be framed.
"Every time I look at the photos, I think the same thing everyone else thinks, 'Daddy's finally home and all is good in the world,'" Watson said.
And don't worry, Gage got to take that ride on the train.
But it was even better than he'd imagined, because it was with his dad.
And for another story guaranteed to have you grabbing the Kleenex, check out These Wedding Photos of a Tribute to the Groom's Late Sister Are Truly Miraculous.
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