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As every parent knows, the moment you see and hold your child for the first time is impossible to describe, but to one dad, Navy Lieutenant Michael Lemmons did not even know this incredible moment was going to happen. When Lemmons arrived on shore after 8 months at sea, he could no longer hold back.
Military families face many challenges when a member is deployed, and more when this member is a parent. More than 40% of children in military families are less than 6 years old, at this age or younger it’s when the children are most dependent on their parent emotional
and physical availability. As they are sent for their tour of duty, they must bid farewell to their loved ones, sometimes, not knowing if they are going to return. But, Lieutenant Lemmons did return, and when he did, he knew his wife had been lying and was incredibly surprised.
Left At Home
The family members left at home don’t have it quite easy either. They have to hold down the fort and handle life’s challenges alone without the help of their loved one nearby. This can be
quite difficult as the person at home has to be there 200% for the family. To Michael Lemmons wife, her husband’s deployment was even more difficult as she was not telling her husband the whole truth.
Serving His Country
Lt. Michael Lemmons of the United States Navy knows the hardships of service, the honor of serving for his country is too high to give up the comforts of family life, no matter how tempting that may be.
Lemmons and 27 crew members aboard the USS John C. Stennis were excitedly ready to return home to their families, and many to their newborn children. But, Lemmons wife Holly did not expect her loved one’s words and compassion!
48 Hours Before Deployment
Holly Lemmons delivered her incredible news about being pregnant just 48 hours before her husband was sent for deployment. Holly explains as she desperately waits ashore for her husband to arrive, “I think we found out about the baby and
that we found out that they moved the deployment up by about five months.” Holly never expected to be raising the child’s first months on her own, and this is when Lt. Lemmons knew he had made a huge mistake.
A Complete Family
Both Holly and Michael have three children, Samantha the eldest, Michael junior and while Lieutenant Lemmons was overseas, his wife gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Hunter Ethan Lemmons, making
their family complete. In a military marriage, duty is first; Lemmons knew what hardships he had put his wife through, as his ship approached the dock he had two things in mind.
Their First Hello
Lemmons and 27 crew members aboard the USS John C. Stennis all missed the birth of their children after being deployed for an extended period of time. All members were eager to be released so
they could see their families and their new additions. A reporter at the scene states that all members of the ship awaited, “not for a reunion, but to say their first hello” to their newborn babies.
Spotted From The Crowd
As the ship pulled into the Naval Station in Bremerton, Washington, Lemmon’s wife quickly spots him out from the crowd. While every single military homecoming tugs at our heartstrings, this one goes a step further. All because of an incredible and sweet reaction Michael Lemmons has as he sees his wife and meets his new baby boy.
When the soldiers started coming off the ship and onto the shore, it is Lemmons children who first spotted him. His son, Michael Junior points out at a distance saying, “There he is!”. Then, Holly instructs Samantha, the eldest child to let him know where she and her new baby are, without wasting a moment Samantha runs to embrace her father.
Meeting His Son For The First Time
As Navy Lieutenant Michael Lemmons dashes over to see his wife for the first time in months, his eyes light up, but, before he could hold back any emotion, he blurted
4 words that make this incredible homecoming all too heart-warming – “He’s perfect. Thank you.” In awe and love, he gives his wife a kiss; still, she can’t handle all this emotion.
Hardships of Military Families
When Holly Lemmons heard him express his gratitude, tears immediately started forming in her eyes, and she began to weep. Because he was not home while she endured childbirth and the care of three children, Michael Lemmons understands that it is not easy to raise a family all alone and that is what he wanted to let
her know as soon as possible, how incredibly proud he is of his wife doing this all alone. The recognition is all she wanted, she knew she was doing a lot while her husband served the country, and not once did she let her husband know how difficult things were. Still, the moment couldn’t have been more bittersweet.
Four Little Words
With the newborn between the couple, Lemmons and his wife held each other tight. The family was finally complete and united. But, as Lt. Lemmons can’t stay home for very long he plans to soak up amazing moments with his family, and
of course, his newborn son while he can, taking the load off his wife. These four words he busted out to his wife when he saw them might have been tiny to many, but they hold more meaning than he probably ever imagined.