Parenthood
Cheerleader can’t stay on her feet when Navy dad walks out from behind the curtain
Delainey's dad had been away for months, so the last thing she expected was to see his face.
Eduardo Gaskell
08.09.22

17-year-old Delainey Smith was getting ready to take the floor with her cheerleading friends but had no idea it was to be an unforgettable Valentine’s Day.

Her father, FC1 William Smith of the U.S. Navy, was hiding behind the curtains with flowers. He came home to surprise her.

YouTube - TMJ4 News
Source:
YouTube - TMJ4 News

Smith had been away for seven months, serving on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. Like many uniformed men and women who are away from their families, Smith does it for the love of his country.

Delainey was at a cheerleading event on a Friday night.

YouTube - TMJ4 News
Source:
YouTube - TMJ4 News

It was February 14th at Westosha Central High School, and love was definitely in the air. She just didn’t know it yet.

The teen just thought it was their usual routine with her squad putting on a performance for the parents in attendance. Will had other plans for the night as you’ll soon see.

He collaborated with his wife for this surprise.

YouTube - TMJ4 News
Source:
YouTube - TMJ4 News

Delainey was one of the last girls to walk out on the floor. She was clueless that behind those curtains was her very nervous and emotional father.

It’s difficult to comprehend just how much of a sacrifice it is to enlist, get assigned, and leave family behind knowing full well that a mission could mean not coming home.

YouTube - TMJ4 News
Source:
YouTube - TMJ4 News

The sacrifices military men and women make means that people back home get to go to work in peace, enjoy their meals quietly, and have fun with their own families.

They take care of national security.

And while wives and kids understand, not having dad around still is heartbreaking. They’d rather have him home.

Unsplash - Diego González
Source:
Unsplash - Diego González

William Smith knew this all too well.

And as soon as he steps out from those closed curtains, Delainey falls to her knees with tears of disbelief and joy on her young face.

YouTube - TMJ4 News
Source:
YouTube - TMJ4 News

This was the same day he arrived at the airport. His daughter was his priority!

“She’s clueless right now,” Will explained to TMJ4 before the surprise.

YouTube - TMJ4 News
Source:
YouTube - TMJ4 News

But that embrace speaks a thousand beautiful words.

A viewer named Bee Bop commented,

“Over 12 years honorable service on his sleeve. Hopefully he’s done by now and back home with his girls for good!”

And you know what, we hope so too.

YouTube - TMJ4 News
Source:
YouTube - TMJ4 News

Delainey is a teenager and needs both her parents around to help her navigate all the highs and lows of her teenage years. Parents know how chaotic those years can be.

Her mom, Melinda, thought her daughter would go running for her father, jumping straight into his arms.

But you never know what to expect when it comes to these homecoming reunions.

YouTube - TMJ4 News
Source:
YouTube - TMJ4 News

And regardless of how they turn out, these men and women in the armed forces deserve all the love and admiration they receive. Delainey is proud of her father.

Those flowers suddenly didn’t seem so important compared to her father’s loving arms.

But the best part is that they got to spend a lot of time as a whole family.

Check out this touching homecoming video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Eduardo Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Eduardo Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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