Friday, January 30, 2009

Hero in a box

Saw this in the Mail and wanted to share as it brought me joy to read such a lovely story.

"Gabriel Hurles' celebrated his sixth birthday by unwrapping the best present ever - his father home on leave from Iraq. The youngster was so engrossed in the cupcakes his mother brought to his class yesterday that he didn't notice the enormous wrapped box. The six-year-old peeled back the wrapping paper to find the surprise of his young life. 'It's my dad!' he announced joyfully to his classmates at Sutro Elementary School in Dayton, Nevada. 'Hi, Daddy!' Army mechanic Casey Hurles, 23, hadn't seen his son since he left in June. When he learned his leave would coincide with his son's birthday, he hatched a plan to hide out in the big box. After Hurles sat down and ate a cupcake with the birthday boy, teacher Dawn VanSickle presented him with a banner from the class that read, 'Welcome Home. Thank you for your service.' VanSickle told the Nevada Appeal she was happy to arrange the reunion in her classroom. 'One of the first things (Gabriel) shared about himself was that his dad was in Iraq and that he was waiting for his dad to come home,' she said. 'He talks about his dad all the time.' Hurles, who joined the Army four years ago, is a mechanic in the 1st Cavalry Division stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. He completed one tour in Iraq and is seven months into his second tour. Gabriel said he looks forward to playing with his dad over the next two weeks but understands why he has to leave again. 'He has to work," Gabriel said. "He works in the war.'

Bless him and God bless his Dad too and keep him safe - I can't imagine the pain he goes through being separated from his child for such long periods of time.

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