Santa Delivers! Capt. Dawn McCracken-Bruce Returns from Iraq to Surprise Young Sons
Tyson and Dominic, ages two and four, sat on Santa’s lap at the Robinson Mall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Old St. Nick asked them what they wanted for Christmas, as he’d asked countless other children over the course of the last few weeks. The two boys knew exactly what they wanted, but it wasn’t any toy. Their mother, U.S. Army Reserves Captain Dawn McCracken-Bruce, was finishing up her service in Iraq. The boys wanted her home.
“I have a surprise for you,” Santa told the boys. “This is going to be fun.”
Suddenly, in the middle of their meeting with Santa, mom appeared. Dad Scott, the kids and even Santa were all smiles and laughter as the emotional reunion unfolded before a crowd of cheering family, friends and holiday shoppers.
“See, I told you it was a surprise,” Santa said.
It had been too long. “He sees me through a screen everyday and he tries to attack the screen,” McCracken-Bruce, describing her previous communications with Tyson, told WTAE.
Then, Capt. McCracken-Bruce got a surprise of her own when her old high school marching band played the ‘Star Spangled Banner.’
It was a scene that tens of thousands of families will experience in their own less dramatic but no less emotional ways as U.S. troops wrap up the nearly nine-year war in Iraq.
At long last, they’ll be home for the holidays.
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