Being separated from someone you love is hard, and the holidays can magnify that absence—especially for the youngest members of a military household. So, it came as no surprise when seven-year-old Rory, an Air Force kid, got the idea to ask the most famous gift-giver himself for a little help.
Staff Sgt. Andrew Dorough has been deployed to Osan, South Korea for the last 13 months. Understandably, the Airman’s family has missed him and used every means possible to stay connected. His wife, Tara, says she and her three children have leaned on the power of technology to shrink the distance between them.
“We FaceTime every day. A lot of times he will record videos of him reading bedtime stories and put them on YouTube so he can have them feel like he’s reading bedtime stories,” Tara said. “We just try and talk to him as much as we can, but the time difference makes it difficult.”
And for Rory,who is a first grader, this time apart has been especially hard because it is the first time she is old enough to remember a deployment. This year, she had an idea to test the power of Santa Claus, to try and make her one Christmas wish come true.
“We’ve talked off and on about Santa’s magic,” Tara explained. “The magic comes from believing in Santa, so she thought that instead of asking for presents that maybe she would ask him just to bring her Dad, since Santa Claus is magic. It was hard for her to write the letter too, she got a little bit emotional as she was writing it.”
In part of the letter, Rory writes to Santa, “I dont care what you bring me. I just want him so we will be happy.”
Tara was really touched by her daughter’s gesture, especially since the kids have been a key part of what has helped her through this deployment.
“All three of the kids, they’ve been as much there for me as I’ve been for them this year.There have been a lot times where I’ve been the one that broke down and they didn’t get alarmed. They would just come and hug me and love me and just be there for me, so I’m glad when she decided to have this idea that we can deliver on the magic,” she said.
Rory and her brothers do not yet know that the magic of Christmas will show itself tonight when they wake up in the middle of the night to a very special package in the living room.
Staff Sgt. Dorough currently is on his way back to American soil, and his wife says she cannot wait to have her family complete again.
“He’s my best friend. I’ll be whole with him here,” Tara added.Read comments