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Boy with Cerebral Palsy Walks for the First Time to Embrace Marine Father in Emotional Video

Brittany Chalmers
Oct 22, 2021
08:00 P.M.

A U.S. Marine's homecoming was an emotional encounter. Thanks to a surprise organized by his wife and son, the moment was made even more special and moved many netizens to tears.

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In 2012, when Staff Sgt. Jeremy Cooney arrived home from Afghanistan, he was overcome with emotion. As he entered the hall where his family was waiting, the man's son was ready to give him a big hug.

His son, Michael, 6, has cerebral palsy, and when Cooney last saw him, he was unable to walk. However, when he saw his son in a North Carolina school gymnasium, things had changed.

A marine is surprised by his son after being away from home for seven months | Photo: Youtube/CNN

A marine is surprised by his son after being away from home for seven months | Photo: Youtube/CNN

MILESTONE WAS KEPT A SECRET

Wife Melissa Cooney shared that the special milestone was kept secret from her husband so that he could see it with his own eyes. In the clip, which amassed millions of views, the father looked for his family in the hall.

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Once he spotted them, he called out "Michael" as the song "We Are The Champions" by Queen played over the speakers. It was a moment that moved many to tears.

A boy with cerebral palsy learns to walk and surprises his marine father | Photo: Youtube/CNN

A boy with cerebral palsy learns to walk and surprises his marine father | Photo: Youtube/CNN

THE SPECIAL HOMECOMING

The proud father then crouched down as his son walked toward him for the first time. The mother expressed:

"When my husband left on his deployment, our 6-year-old son could not walk on his own."

While her husband was away for seven months, the youngster learned how to walk. She added: "For his homecoming, we set it up for Michael to walk to his daddy for the first time ever."

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SWELLING WITH PRIDE

The heartwarming moment saw the dad rush in and scoop his son in his arms. Cooney then proceeded to give the rest of his family some love as well.

Over the loudspeaker, someone stated: "Your children are so very proud of you." However, it was Cooney who was beaming with pride at that moment. The mother said she knew her son had it in him to walk. She said: "It was just a matter of time."

A marine embraces his family after seven months away from home | Photo: Youtube/CNN

A marine embraces his family after seven months away from home | Photo: Youtube/CNN

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THE ONLINE REACTION

The encounter touched netizens, and a 55-year-old commenter who called himself a "manly man" said: "This had me crying like a baby. Someone else had commented that this was the best thing they had seen on youtube, and I have to agree."

A user also expressed: "I love that he just couldn't wait to hug his son anymore. It's so heartwarming." Another netizen noted the commendable behavior of his other kids.

Netizens react to a son who surprised his marine father by learning to walk while his dad was deployed | Photo: Youtube/CNN

Netizens react to a son who surprised his marine father by learning to walk while his dad was deployed | Photo: Youtube/CNN

COMMENDED THE OTHER KIDS

The person said: "The girls did a great job too, staying back and waiting for their turns to be hugged and kissed when they could just have run to their dad. Great sisters, for staying back and letting him have the first hug."

People who also had kids with cerebral palsy thanked the family and the marine for sharing the encouraging moment. Not only did it mean a lot to them, but their children as well.

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