Little Cooper Waldvogel had waited more than nine months to see his mom again, and he just couldn’t wait a second longer.
The 3-year-old grew impatient while his mother, Kathryn Waldvogel, was being dismissed after serving in Afghanistan, and ran and jumped into her arms before she and her fellow soldiers were officially released.
Video of the heartwarming incident was uploaded to Facebook and soon went viral.
Waldvogel, 25, said her first sergeant gave strict orders to the National Guard unit returning to their base in Chisolm, Minn., that they should not interact with family members while waiting to be dismissed because it would take too much time.
But Cooper just couldn’t help himself.
“All of a sudden, we had to file into the building and get into formation, and I just look up and Cooper and my mom are right there,” Waldvogel told TV station KARE 11. “He just kept smiling like he was in awe of me.”
This is the second time Cooper has had to wait for a parent to come home. Cooper’s dad, Adam Waldvogel, 26, returned from serving in Afghanistan with the National Guard in December.
Between their two deployments, the Waldvogel family has spent 19 months apart. They have a lot of catching up to do.
“Can we play all day?” Cooper asked his mom.
“Sure,” Waldvogel replied. “What do you want to play next?”