FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It’s probably unfathomable for most parents to go without seeing their young children for more than a year. But for thousands of United States servicemen and servicewomen, it’s all part of their call to duty.
On Wednesday, CBS2 was lucky to be there when one Farmingville father, and member of the U.S. Navy, reunited with his family in quite the surprise, CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported.
Every day at Lynwood Avenue Elementary School students honor their flag and country by reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance.”
For Andrew and Eva Stock, this daily habit is also a reminder of how much they miss their dad, Jacob Stock, who has been stationed in the Persian Gulf and who they haven’t seen in more than a year.
“I love my children very much. Obviously, I don’t want to let them go either, but I have my duty to my country,” Jacob Stock said.
WATCH: Sailor’s surprise homecoming reunites family:
On Wednesday, he was ready to be reunited with his kids, one in kindergarten and the other in fourth grade.
“This is so exciting,” wife Kelly Stock said.
With the help of his wife and the school principal, Danielle DeLorenzo, a plan was hatched to host an assembly on kindness and empathy, honoring Eva and Andrew for their good example.
“Eva and Andrew, this past year you’ve shown both kindness, empathy and strength in actions. We’re so happy to present you with a very special moment,” DeLorenzo said.
And then, their father appeared, setting off quite an emotional moment for everyone.
“I love my family. It was tough being away,” Jacob Stock would later say.
Something he never felt more, he said, than in the arms of his kids.
Jacob Stock is also a Suffolk County policeman and second to missing his family, he said he missed New York pizza, which the Stocks were planning on enjoying Wednesday evening for dinner.