Teen Goes Viral On TikTok Asking Dad Questions About Being a Former U.S. Spy

Teen questions former spy dad

Spy Kids gave us pretty unrealistic expectations of one day having to rescue our seemingly normal parents from supervillains after making the startling discovery that they’re actually secret agents. For most of us, the fantasy of becoming a family of spies fades fairly quickly. How are you supposed to save the world when you can barely get through a game night without someone crying? And realistically, it seems pretty unlikely that your parents would be spies given that they’ve barely mastered sending emails. Though our own spy fantasies are never coming to fruition, a TikTok user named Maria is kind enough to share her own real-life experience with the world.

19-Year-old Maria knew her dad was in the military, but it wasn’t until she was 16 that she found out her dad was in fact a former spy. Upon finding out the truth, Maria explains that she was “a little peeved” that he omitted some important details about his military career. Then again, she almost immediately turned to TikTok to create a 19-part (and counting) series on her dad’s life as a former spy, so maybe it was for the best that he waited a while.

Incredibly, Maria got her dad to answer dozens of questions about being a spy. For the most part, he answers his daughter’s questions directly, occasionally dismissing some as “classified.”

@mariaisabellecomstockComment question ideas for part 6! DM me on insta if you have any you really want asked: mariacomstock ##spy ##spies ##videocall ##exposed ##agentbuttercup

♬ original sound – Maria 😉

Maria’s dad’s frankness doesn’t leave much room for follow-up questions. He answers briefly and concisely, with the air of someone who doesn’t have the time or energy to mess around. At times, however, his frankness is a little unsettling – like when Maria asks for his thoughts on World War 3. Her dad replies without hesitation, “It will be something that most of us do not survive.”

@mariaisabellecomstockComment questions you want answered! Follow & DM me on insta if your question is super pressing! ##spy ##spies ##exposed ##umdercover ##government ##secrets

♬ original sound – Maria 😉

The UC Berkeley student has gone viral for her unusual series, with several videos hitting over a million views. Maria pulls questions from her followers, sharing intel with the world while getting to know a side of her dad he’d hidden for most of her life. While he doesn’t answer any questions that would give away specific classified information, he does a phenomenal job keeping viewers interested.

@mariaisabellecomstockComment questions for part 16!! Follow me on insta for spy updates ##spy ##spues ##secret ##agentbuttercup ##government ##spying ##Homemade ##InLove

♬ original sound – Maria 😉

Though Maria’s dad has been more focused on fatherhood than his time in the military over the past couple of decades, the experience was clearly transformative. And to all aspiring spies, he has some important advice: learn Russian.

Veteran in Hospice Care Has Final Wish Granted, Sees Beloved Dog One Last Time

Dying veteran sees beloved dog one last time
(Facebook/Albuquerque Animal Welfare)

For many, dogs become far more than just pets. Their loyalty, intuition, and unconditional love make them members of the family, ones who stand by our sides during life’s most challenging moments. A veteran named John Vincent was heartbroken when he had to give up his beloved dog Patch after entering hospice care, and even during his final days, he didn’t stop thinking about his best friend.

The 69-year-old had no family nearby, and nobody he knew was willing to take in his 5-year-old companion. When Vincent was moved to the Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Patch was relinquished to Albuquerque Animal Welfare.

Vincent’s condition was quickly deteriorating, and during a session with his palliative care social worker, Amy Neal, the veteran made a far-fetched last request. His last wish was to see his best friend once more, to say one last goodbye to the loyal terrier. After realizing how meaningful the reunion would be to Vincent, Neal scrambled to make the veteran’s last wish a reality.

“When the request came in, it was an immediate ‘absolutely,’ and let’s do whatever we can to get it done,” Danny Nevarez, Director of Animal Welfare told the Albuquerque Journal. “It was as simple as getting Patch over here.”

As the animal welfare workers drove towards Vincent with Patch quietly in tow, something in the small pup changed.

“It’s almost like he knew, he just started whimpering,” Nevares told the Journal. “Like he had that anticipation.”

The reunion between Vincent and Patch was nothing short of extraordinary, with both man and dog perking up at the sight of one another.

Veteran in hospice says goodbye to beloved dog
(Facebook/Albuquerque Animal Welfare)

“Yeah, that’s me, that’s daddy,” Vincent said to Patch. “Are you so happy to see me? I’m so happy to see you.”

Albuquerque Animal Welfare shared touching photos of the reunion on Facebook, grateful to be part of something so meaningful. Vincent and Patch got to take their time saying a final goodbye, closure that each of them likely needed.

“It was such a heart warming moment,” Albuquerque Animal Welfare wrote on Facebook. “They were so happy to see each other and to say their good byes. It was an honor to make this veterans final wish come true.

Newly Commissioned Officer Gets First Salute From Marine Corps Master Sgt Dad

Newly Commissioned Officer Gets Moving First Salute From Dad

There’s truly no shortage of proud moments as a parent. Your kids’ first steps, their first words, the first time they turn off the kitchen light without having to be reminded. The milestones kids hit as they grow up are well worth celebrating, but there comes a time when our kids are no longer kids, and suddenly they’re accomplishing things that are thoroughly impressive at any age.

For Master Sergeant Michael Fisher, his incredibly proud father-son moment was captured on video and shared with the world. Master Sergeant Fisher is an instructor with the Marine Corps Junior ROTC program, and an undoubtedly fulfilling part of his role is rendering newly commissioned officers their first official salutes.

In a video Master Sergeant Fisher shared on TikTok that’s been liked over 1.2 million times in just a week, the proud dad shared an especially moving milestone for a new Second Lieutenant – his own son.

“I’ve watched you grow and mature and become the man that you are today,” Master Sergeant Fisher says in the video, his voice filled with emotion. “You have always been respectful, by saying ‘Yes sir.’ ‘No sir.’ ‘Yes, ma’am.’ And ‘No, ma’am.’”

“A salute is a sign of respect,” he continues shakily, looking at his son as if nothing else in the world exists in that moment. “It is a privilege to render you your first salute. But it is a greater honor to say ‘Congratulations, sir, on your commissioning.'”

@e8msgtRendering my son his 1st Salute! ##marine ##2ndLT ##usmc ##fatherson ##fyp ##military ##instructor♬ original sound – Mike Fisher

In that moment, the newly commissioned Second Lieutenant raises his own hand in a salute. Father and son face each other, the silent moment filled with pride, mutual respect, and an enormous amount of love.

The emotional moment touched millions around the world, highlighting just how impactful life’s big moments truly are. Had one thing in this situation had been different, it still would have been worth celebrating. A Master Sergeant giving any newly commissioned officer their first salute is powerful. A father proudly watching his son accomplish something incredible is undeniably heartwarming. But when these milestone moments converge, the result is nothing short of extraordinary.

An American Airlines Pilot Had a UFO Encounter and the FBI Is Investigating It

American Airlines UFO
(Getty/Cooper NEILL)

An American Airlines pilot saw an unidentified flying object last week and I feel like we’re all taking it too lightly. This isn’t a kook or someone publishing a clearly doctored photo to accompany some bizarre theory. This is a professional and experienced airline pilot spotting something and determining what that something was has proven difficult.

It was on Saturday when an American Airlines pilot on a flight from Cincinnati to Phoenix told air traffic controllers that he spotted something else flying in the sky, very close to his plane.

“Do you have any targets up here? We just had something go right over the top of us,” he said. “I hate to say this but it looked like a long cylindrical object that almost looked like a cruise missile type of thing moving really fast over the top of us.”

The FAA released a statement saying air traffic controllers did not see any object in the area on their radar. So that’s all totally normal and good! Case closed, move along.

The transmission was caught by a blogger who was trying to pick up a different aircraft with a radio scanner. Steve Douglass published the audio on the aviation blog Deep Blue Horizon. Since the report, the airline has confirmed the authenticity of the transmission.

The blogger determined the broadcast was made over the northeast corner of New Mexico, near Clayton. The FBI is currently investigating.

Now, does UFO necessarily mean aliens? Of course not. It’s probably some military test of a missile or something similar, that’s the most logical explanation.

Buuuuuuuut (the buts are always where the fun stuff happens), could it be? I mean, the UFO world does seem to be heating up with news and declassifications in the last few years. It does seem like something the government is investigating more thoroughly and is being more transparent about (which, to be fair, is a very low bar and still isn’t that forthcoming).

So, there is a non-zero chance airline pilots on a routine flight encountered an object from another civilization, and that is pretty cool. Even if it was some new military weapon they’re developing, that would be pretty cool too.

Either way you look at it, something pretty cool happened in the sky of New Mexico last month.

A 91-Yr-Old Lost His Wallet in Antarctica and It Was Returned 53 Years Later

Lost Wallet
(YouTube/KETK NBC)

A 91-year-old man lost his wallet, and a kind soul returned it earlier this month. On the surface, maybe not the most newsworthy story. But the man, Paul Grisham, had lost the wallet 53 years ago. In Antarctica.

The former Navy meteorologist was stationed there for 13 months in 1968 and the wallet was recently found after the buildings they lived in were being demolished. So the newly discovered wallet went to the man who carried it decades ago.

“It brought back memories, oh yeah,” Grisham told CNN. The wallet was like a time capsule of life in the 60s, in one of the coldest places on Earth. The wallet was still in pretty good shape, his family said it looked like it could still be used. And honestly, still some good stuff in it.

In addition to his ID, there was also a card with instructions on what to do if there was a nuclear or chemical attack. There were receipts for money orders for poker winnings he sent home and there was a recipe for homemade Kahlua.

Most importantly, the wallet had a beer ration card with 21 punches left. I don’t think there’s an expiration date on that, so hopefully, he gets a few cases of beer on Uncle Sam ASAP.

Grisham remembered his time in “The Ice” fondly and was mostly monitoring the weather to provide updates for incoming air traffic. In the downtime for the nearly 200 men stationed there, it was mostly cards and other indoor activities, as the outdoor temperatures were ghastly.

“It’s almost inconceivable just how cold it is. It’s almost impossible to describe to people who haven’t been there,” he said. “In fact, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out ‘how do we explain this to the folks at home?’ and we just never really came up with a good way to explain it.”

This just goes to show that even if you lost something, you never know, it may just show up someday and remind you of how much hair you used to have back in your day.

‘Get Well’ Messages Pour in for Captain Tom, in the Hospital With COVID

Captain Tom Moore

When COVID struck, one WWII vet wanted to help in any way he could, so he started walking in his garden. Like, a lot. So much that it inspired a nation, millions around the globe, and raised a ton of money for healthcare workers. Captain Tom become a legend for his overwhelming fundraising efforts earlier in the pandemic (those four words feel weird to string together, but here we are).

He began fighting COVID by walking in his garden, and now the fight is much more personal, as Captain Tom has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is currently hospitalized in the U.K. His daughter announced the news on social media over the weekend. He had been struggling with pneumonia before his diagnosis and was admitted to the hospital after he had trouble breathing.

Since then, well wishes have been pouring in for the inspirational veteran.


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Captain Tom raised more than $40 million for healthcare workers during his fundraising laps around his garden and was knighted by the queen for his efforts.

Gary Sinise Foundation Helps Veteran Who Lost His Leg by Building Adaptive Home

Gary Sinise Foundation Builds Adaptive Home For Wounded Veteran

Gary Sinise is the gift that keeps on giving. Even during a time when the world is full of unknowns, Sinise and his foundation have continued their life-changing efforts in supporting veterans and their families. Most recently, the Gary Sinise Foundation has turned its attention to Staff Sgt. Rico Roman, a veteran who experienced the unthinkable while deployed overseas.

Roman was deployed four times between 2001-2007, but his time with the U.S. Army left him forever changed. During his deployment to Iraq in 2007, an IED hit his team’s Humvee. At that moment, Roman had a terrifying realization.

“I’m not walking out of this,” he thought.

The following three months of Roman’s life were spent in the hospital, undergoing multiple surgical procedures on his legs. The surgeries left him in agonizing pain, and ultimately, Roman decided to have his left leg amputated.

Finally free of the pain that held him back, Roman began to live his life to the fullest again. He played adaptive sports, winning a Paralympic medal and joining the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team.

Though Roman was able to engage in adaptive sports, daily activities within his home were a challenge. His home wasn’t built for someone with a prosthetic leg, and Roman had to find ways to do daily tasks that we take for granted. Fortunately, the Gary Sinise Foundation stepped in, utilizing their R.I.S.E. program which creates smart homes with adaptations for wounded veterans. Best of all, those houses are provided to veterans who need them 100% mortgage-free.

“The Gary Sinise Foundation is honored to provide this deserving hero and his family a specially adapted smart home to ease their daily burdens,” the Foundation said.

Rico Roman now has one less enormous challenge to worry about in his daily life, and it’s all thanks to Sinise’s incredible foundation.

93-Year-Old Veteran Raises Money for Food Bank by Whittling Walking Sticks

93-Year-Old Veteran whittles walking sticks for food pantry donations
(GoFundMe/Walking Stick Grandpa's Food Pantry Fund)

There’s a certain type of person that just never stops. When most of us dream of retirement, we imagine sitting on the beach somewhere or on the porch of a small cottage in the middle of a picturesque field, basically anywhere pretty where we can do as little as possible to make up for decades of work. For some, however, retirement is a time to dedicate yourself to the important things in life. Family, friends, or in 93-year-old John Hobson’s case, helping others.

The retired Air Force colonel has never had an appetite for sitting still, so even in retirement, his days are filled to the brim. One activity that Hobson thoroughly enjoys is whittling walking sticks, a hobby that allowed him to custom-make gifts for several family members last Christmas.

The work is intricate and time-consuming, each beautiful walking stick taking up to a day to perfect. Rather than giving away the 100 walking sticks, he’s whittled this year, Hobson decided to whittle for a cause. Specifically, the Xenia Area Fish Food Pantry.

For a modest $3 each, Hobson quickly sold out of his walking sticks. He raised over $600 from the sales, all of which went to the local food pantry – but Hobson was far from done. He continues to whittle his walking sticks and started a GoFundMe to raise even more money for those who need it. There’s nothing we love more than seeing a worthy GoFundMe blow its initial goal out of the water. Hobson listed his goal as $500, and incredibly, has raised nearly $9,000 so far.

“He’s just a sweet man that gives a darn about other folks who don’t have nothing,” Hobson’s son Mark told WKEF-TV.

College Student Designs Smartwatch App To Stop His Veteran Dad’s PTSD Nightmares

Son invents smartwatch app to stop dad's night terrors
(Youtube/KARE 11)

Dads often pride themselves on being problem-solvers. When something’s wrong, dad-senses start tingling and don’t stop until the problem is fixed – or at least until all of the relatively-safe options have been exhausted. But there comes a time in many kids’ lives where their parents are the ones who need help. And incredibly, the kids whose diapers we changed, the ones who would inexplicably forget where their mouths were when it was time to eat (but could always find it when they got their hands on something inedible), they become the ones who save the day.

Patrick Skluzacek was a goofy, excitable, outgoing dad. But after serving as a convoy commander for the U.S. Army in Iraq, something inside of him fundamentally changed. In 2007, when Patrick returned, he was haunted by his experiences overseas. Most disturbingly, Patrick had terrible nightmares – nightmares that left him flailing and sweating as he re-lived the horrors he’d experienced. He had left Iraq, but Iraq had not left him.

The tortured dad began to use alcohol and pills in an attempt to escape from the war that was ravaging his brain, even after his body was no longer physically fighting. Patrick lost his wife, his home, and the life he worked so hard for.

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Patrick is just one of the 11-30% of veterans who return home suffering from PTSD. Though there are trauma-based approaches to controlling the symptoms, PTSD presents differently in individuals making treatment exceedingly difficult.

In 2015, Patrick’s son Tyler was a senior at his college in Minnesota when he heard about a Washington D.C. hackathon. Each hackathon pulled programmers together to work on finding solutions to specific problems, and coincidentally, this hackathon was geared towards developing apps for people with PTSD. With his dad at the forefront of his mind, Tyler saved up for a ticket and made his way to D.C.

Targeting his dad’s problem, Tyler gathered a team of programmers to create an app to stop night terrors. The smartwatch would track the user’s pulse and movement, and upon receiving data associated with night terrors, the watch would begin to vibrate. According to Tyler, the watch would provide a similar sort of stimulation that a service dog would provide – disrupting the REM cycle and pulling the PTSD sufferer out of their night terror.

The watch would need to provide “just enough stimulus to pull them out of the deep REM cycle and allow the sleep to continue unaffected,” Tyler told NPR.

Once the first prototype was done, Patrick was on board to act as a guinea pig for his son’s invention. Through an enormous amount of tweaking, adjusting both the intensity of the vibrations and the data that caused the watch to respond, Tyler’s app eventually fulfilled its incredible purpose.

“It was night and day when I put that watch on and it started working,” Patrick recalled. The vibrations, he explained, were “little miracles.”

Tyler’s app was purchased by an investor who used it to start NightWare, a company that aims to make the service more widely-available to sufferers of PTSD.

As for Patrick, his life is finally back on track thanks to his son, who is now a graduate student in computer science. He has infrequent nightmares, but his all-consuming night terrors are a thing of the past. The FDA gave its approval for the life-changing app, meaning that before long, many others just like Patrick will finally have their lives back.

Video of Elderly Veteran Struggling To Make Delivery Snaps Community Into Action

Woman helps elderly man delivering groceries
(YouTube/Inside Edition)

Delivery has become an omnipresent aspect of life in quarantine. From groceries to dinner to impulse-purchases that we immediately regret, shopping online has become the default to avoid unnecessary trips to the store. On the flip side, an increase in online shopping means an increase in delivery drivers.

Sure, people making deliveries choose to do so – but often this is a choice of necessity. The unemployment rate rose to 14.7%, meaning that people were scrambling to find work to support their families and themselves. Given the flexibility and increased need for delivery drivers, many turned to the demanding job as a way to make ends meet.

When Jen Weiss from Utah ordered her groceries through DoorDash, she wasn’t home when her order arrived. After seeing footage captured by her doorbell’s video feature, however, she wished she’d been there to help. In the video, Jen watched her delivery driver – an elderly man – struggle and strain to get the groceries to her front door.

With his back hunched, the man took one step after another with great care, putting all of his effort into keeping his footing. He leaned against the wall to stay balanced, putting care into protecting both Jen’s groceries and himself. Finally, the elderly man makes it to the house’s front door at which point he bends down and completes his delivery.

“He was really having a hard time getting up the stairs,” Jen told Inside Edition. “He was losing his balance, unsteady – I felt really bad.”

Jen was heartbroken, realizing the man was likely delivering groceries out of necessity. She shared the footage on social media, where viewers had the same gut-wrenching reaction. The man obviously needed help, but rather than asking for it, he got to work in an attempt to help himself.

Thanks to the power of social media, a relative of the man saw the footage and Jen was finally able to connect with her delivery driver. As it turns out, Jen was absolutely right about the elderly man’s situation – he needed money, and he had no other options.

If the video wasn’t distressing enough, the DoorDash worker’s story added whole new layers of heartbreak. The man she now knew by the name of Larry was a veteran. Larry had a stroke earlier this year and had to learn to walk all over again during his recovery. Now, his roof was falling apart and he needed to find a way to pay for repairs.

After hearing Larry’s story, Jen wasted no time. She set up a fundraiser to help her new friend, determined to allow Larry to leave the temporary job that was physically depleting him. Ultimately, Jen’s compassion did exactly that. She saw someone who needed help, and though she had zero obligation to do so, she stepped up – and so did her community. Thanks to Jen’s kindness and the generosity of strangers, Larry never has to make another delivery again.

“He got enough to fix his roof, and retire,” Jen said.

Leaked Photo From Pentagon Report Shows Silver UFO

UFO Cube
(Debrief Media/UAPTF)

2020 has been a crazy year. We’ve taken a huge step forward in the UFO conversation and it barely made a blip in the news landscape thanks to COVID. In another step forward, Debrief Media released a leaked photo from a Pentagon report showing an “unidentified aerial phenomena,” in this case, what looks to be a silver cube-ish object.

It’s been a fun year for space (one of the few areas 2020 was fun). We had news the Pentagon had recovered off-world vehicles, we had baby yoda in space, NASA landing on an asteroid…all pretty cool. But then the wind left our sails when buzzkill astronomers determined the strange radio bursts from space were not from aliens.

But now there’s yet another notch to the UFO news column, with this report/slash photo leak!

If you aren’t one of the people who read the article, you’ll be quick to say “weather balloon, dummy!” but the reporter ran it by several officials who dismissed the idea, saying the object appeared unaffected by the wind.

The photo was taken by Navy pilots in 2018, and the photo has been widely shared in the intelligence community. This would not be the case if there was an easy and obvious answer to what it is.

The leaked reports from the Pentagon state the task force for Unidentified Aerial Phenomena are investigating the possibility this object (and another from last year) could be operated by ‘intelligences of unknown origin,” according to an intelligence official.

So what’s cool about this? The fact that insiders are describing the report as “shocking” and the fact that the ALIEN explanation is not being taken off the table by credible investigators. So, there is a chance!

Is there a perfectly reasonable and rational explanation, grounded in planet Earth possibilities? Sure, of course, but the fact this is making so much noise and isn’t easily explained is exciting enough for UFO fans as another story adding fuel to the fire that we’re not alone in the universe.

Deployed Dad Wrote Lunchbox Notes for His Daughter, One for Each Day He Was Gone

Deployed Dad Writes Lunchbox Notes for Daughter

Being deployed in itself is one of the bravest and most challenging things a person can do, but when you’re leaving behind your family and young children, it adds a whole new layer of difficulty. When Staff Sgt. Philip Gray found out he was being deployed to Afghanistan, he wanted to make sure his young daughter remembered every single day just how much he loved her.

On October 7, 2019, Staff Sgt. Philip Gray left Fort Drum, New York for his 10-month deployment. His wife Kristen and 7-Year-old daughter Rosie remained at home, but both were constantly at the forefront of his mind. To make sure that Rosie knew her dad was thinking about her, Kristen Gray came up with a brilliant idea.

Before Staff Sgt. Philip Gray left, he wrote 270 notes for his daughter, one for every day he expected to be overseas. Every morning of his deployment, Kristen slipped a single note into Rosie’s lunchbox. Sometimes they were holiday greetings that he couldn’t give in person, others were words of encouragement, but they all had one thing in common – each note was written with a whole lot of love.

“He wrote anything from, ‘You are super girl’ to ‘Smiling makes everyone else smile,'” Kristen Gray told Good Morning America. “He was very big on feel-good words for her and girl power. He made sure to tell her how smart she was, and run fast in P.E. and things that would really make her happy.”

Kristen shared some of the heartwarming notes on TikTok, each one signed “-Dad.”

@kris10grayyyReposting the original this Veterans Day. 🇺🇸 Thank you to @kellyclarksonshow for finding our story and sharing. 🤍 ##militaryfamily ##deployment

♬ original sound – Kristen Gray

Staff Sgt. Philip Gray’s deployment ended up being extended, but fortunately, this loving army dad made it home just days before his daughter’s birthday. Gray’s lunchbox notes helped him show his love for Rosie even from thousands of miles away. And when Rosie found out her dad was home, well, it’s abundantly clear how much she loves him right back.

@kris10grayyyHit 10k followers & wanted to repost my first video that brought me to TikTok. Wait for her reaction. 💙 ##happylife ##positivity ##militaryhomecoming

♬ original sound – Kristen Gray

Deployed Dad Stays In Touch With Kids Through Ring Doorbell

Kids Use Doorbell for Deployed Dad

Though there are certainly drawbacks to living in a world run by technology, advancements in technology provide incredible solutions to many of life’s problems. Especially during the era of COVID, technology has allowed us to stay connected when other modes of communication are no longer an option. Even before the pandemic, communication was a challenge for many – particularly members of the Armed Forces deployed overseas. Being deployed means leaving everyone and everything behind in order to bravely defend your country, and sadly, it often means missing out on some of your kids’ milestones and celebrations.

While stationed in the Middle East with Minnesota National Guard’s 34th Infantry Division, Peter DeCrans bought his family a Ring doorbell, assuming it would help him keep his family safe while he was away. For those who don’t know, a Ring doorbell is equipped with a camera that connects to the homeowner’s devices. If someone presses the button on your Ring doorbell while you’re away from home, you can see the camera’s video feed from wherever you are.

This feature brings peace of mind when you’re away from home, knowing that you’re able to keep a virtual eye on your house from anywhere in the world. But for Peter DeCrans, this feature gave him an incredible gift – one that no doorbell in history has been able to provide (a very odd sentence, yes, but they’re just going to keep getting weirder as technology evolves).

Every morning before school, DeCran’s 7-year-old son Zerick and 5-year-old daughter Petroula recorded a video using their Ring doorbell. And throughout his 10-month deployment, Peter DeCrans was able to receive them – over 100 videos of his adorable kids to keep his spirits up and remind him why he’s doing what he’s doing.

The videos became a highly-anticipated part of DeCrans’s days, something he eagerly looked forward to and cherished enormously during his time away from home.

DeCrans told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, “It was one of the best things ever, a little slice of home. When you’re gone that long, you miss your kids, and you want to see them. It’s a way to feel connected to what’s going on.”

From thousands of miles away, DeCrans got the latest news from his kids. He heard about their days, new dances they learned, skills they proudly mastered – DeCrans was kept up-to-date on it all.

“It was just part of the routine,” he explained. “They’d get dressed for school, and then they’d swing outside and leave a quick message telling me about their day. … One day Zerick had really long hair, and the next day he had a buzz cut because he had a wood tick in his hair, and he didn’t want long hair anymore.”

In return, DeCrans recorded his own videos. Using a Kindle app he read stories to his kids, continuing a beloved activity the family did together while he was home. DeCrans was able to remain a big part of his kids’ lives from thousands of miles away, and it was all thanks to a doorbell.