Having a service member in the family is a challenge for many people. Despite the pride that accompanies it, family members must go for long months and sometimes years without seeing their loved ones, and they live with the worry that they may have fallen into harm’s way.
Ten-year-old Cheyanna Prelesnik has grown up with this concern as the backdrop to her family. Though he hasn’t lived at home for several years, she remains deeply devoted to her big brother Brandon, a sergeant in the Marines, and yearns for his safe return.
Recently, she made a request of her brother in one of her letters to him. She asked if he would consider coming to see her in school on the last day of fourth grade. Getting time off to go home isn’t the easiest task, but she hoped that she would be able to give her beloved brother a hug before long. Brandon was touched by his little sister’s devotion and decided to grant her request.
In order to increase the surprise factor, he arrived home early, and he decided to drop in on her class on the second-to-the-last day of school. Cheyanna had hoped he would be able to come, but he caught her completely by surprise on this day, and her classmates had the pleasure of witnessing her shock and delight at finally seeing him again when he unveiled himself to her at school. While the visit was all too short, the memory of that loving gesture will sustain Cheyanna throughout many months of waiting for her brother to come back again.