Military life is tough, and not just for the active service members; it can impact everyone else in their life as well. Friends, parents, and siblings.
For U.S. Army National Guardsman Sergeant Bradley Komar, he had to leave behind two younger sisters.
His sisters, Eden and Jordan Viles, had to say goodbye to their brother when he left for active military service and they didn’t know when they would be able to see him again.
It can be hard for families when one of their own goes away, and doubly hard when they are going to an active war zone. Though siblings may fight, the love and concern never dies.
Psychologists suggest that having a military sibling is highly significant for family members and that it changes family dynamics.
While the Viles girls had each other, they no longer had the influence and protection of their big brother and as a result, they grew closer together.
The girls both attend Winnetonka High School and spend their lunch periods together, it was here that the surprise of a lifetime was waiting for them.
Aware that a news crew was at the school and wanted students to send holiday wishes to overseas military members, the girls prepared themselves to send well wishes out to their brother.
Little did they know he was just a few feet behind them.
While Jordan was in the middle of speaking about how much she missed her brother, he snuck up behind them and prepared himself to say hello.
“I think butterflies describes it pretty good,” is what Sgt Komar said when asked how he was feeling about the reunion. The smile on his face as he approached them betrayed just how excited he really was.
The surprise and happiness from the girls upon seeing him again was palpable.
In the middle of their interview with KMBC 9, Komar threw his hands around their shoulder and greeted them with a casual, “Hey guys.”
It seemed to take both girls a moment before they fully realized what was happening, and then came the screams of delight and a three-way bear hug.
With their faces buried in his uniformed chest, and his head nuzzled into theirs, a round of applause broke out in the cafeteria.
“It was surreal,” said Eden, “I can’t believe this is happening.”
In a post-reunion interview, standing arm in arm, both girls relayed how happy they were to have their big brother back for the holidays.
While Sgt Komar will eventually have to return to active duty, the trio seemed to just be basking in the happiness of the moment, each one with a smile from ear to ear.
It is unknown if the parents were aware that Bradley was coming home early, or if they helped to plan the surprise.
It is said that having a military sibling brings the rest of the family together.
Whether through pride or worry, families with a military member, especially if they are young, tend to congregate and realize the importance of expressing their love for one another. It is clear to see the love that Sgt Bradley Komar and his sisters share.