Watch: Heartwarming video of returning soldier greeting his mom at her work place
The US has 300,000 soldiers deployed across 150 different countries, many of which are war zones. Families never know if they'll see their loved again, but you can imagine the joy when they do!
Numberwise, the US Armed Forces is the third largest in the world, consisting of nearly 1.4 million soldiers. No army in the world is as involved in world affairs as it is, helping countries across Africa and the Middle East maintain peace by providing military aid.
Its reach and power aren't too surprising when you consider the fact that the government spends $580 billion annually to fund its military forces, with a significant portion going to Overseas Contingency Operations.
While the statistics and numbers aren't too hard to digest, there's undeniably a human factor that's often not given enough credence when the topic of war is brought up in a conversation. As Joseph Stalin put it quite eloquently, "When one person dies, it is a tragedy. When millions die, it is a statistic."
Every year, millions of wives, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, and friends say goodbye to a loved one in the military as they embark on a dangerous journey to the other side of the world, never knowing if they'll make it back safely to shore.
The Iraq war saw 4,424 killed, the one that's raging in Afghanistan as we speak has already claimed 2,836, with the count only expected to rise. Endless promises of withdrawal of forces from multiple administrations have failed to come to fruition.
One can only imagine the pain when a family member gets the dreaded knock on the door informing them that their loved one has died, just a flag given in condolence. But on the same note, the joy one experiences when they see them back safely at home quite possibly knows no bounds. The elation and exhilaration are probably tenfold when the return is a complete surprise as well!
Watch the tear-jerking video below where a returning soldier surprises his mother by showing up at her place of work, their happiness is contagious!
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