The True Meaning of Thanksgiving: A Soldier’s Viral Surprise Homecoming Will Make You Cry!

Our social feeds are a whirlwind of viral videos. These fleeting moments temporarily capture our attention before the algorithm serves up something new. But behind each of these snapshots into people’s lives is a larger story, a real human experience that continues long after you scroll away. During this holiday season, a time for gratitude, family, and love, let’s revisit one such unforgettable story from 2014.

Imagine being thousands of miles away from your family, serving your country in Afghanistan. This was the reality for Skip, a dedicated member of the US Army. In an extraordinary act of love and surprise, Skip orchestrated a homecoming that not only brought joy to his wife Sara and young daughter Ellie but also captivated so many more on YouTube. 

“Back in early November 2014, we started hearing rumors of returning home,” Skip reminisces,  “I think it was like the beginning of November we started getting word that like, ‘Hey, you’re gonna be going home.’,”  Skip reminisces,  “But I wanted it to be a surprise and so I started talking with two of our really close friends, and then my dad and my brothers and family friends, and I wanted everyone to be there.”

The emotional reunion, filled with tears of joy and disbelief, was spontaneously captured on video. Sara recalls,  “All of my friends were like, ‘You should post it on YouTube! You should post it on YouTube!’ And I was like, ‘Okay, whatever, I’ll post it. And we just wanted our like other friends and family to be able to see it, and it was just a special moment we wanted to share. So we went ahead and posted it. and then it just like blew up.”

This viral sensation wasn’t just about the views or likes; it symbolized something much deeper, as Skip so thoughtfully says,  “I’m thankful that I’m able to be here now. My heart just goes out to those who aren’t going to have that opportunity this year, as I’m able to be here I’m thankful that… for the service and my heart goes out to those who aren’t able to be here today and for Thanksgiving.

Sara and Skip’s story, a testament to the sacrifices of military families, reminds us to cherish every moment with our loved ones. As Sara puts it, “There’s so many people and families that don’t get to have that moment again. So it’s always important just to remember not to take life for granted and be grateful for what you have and grateful for the support and family.”

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, let’s remember the essence of this holiday – gratitude, love, and family. Skip and Sara’s journey, from a viral video to a symbol of enduring love and sacrifice, is a powerful reminder of what truly matters.

Visit the My UPtv app to view the complete video featuring Skip and Sara, where they provide updates on their life since their viral moment in 2014.