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The Daughter of a Soldier

Claim:   Soldier at an airport delivers a kiss from her father to a little girl.
 
UNDETERMINED

Examples:  

[Collected via e-mail, June 2006]

The daughter of a soldier

Last week I was in Atlanta, Georgia attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest act's of patriotism I have ever seen.

Moving thru the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camo's, as they began heading to their gate everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering. When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red blooded American who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families.

Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal. Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He kneeled down and said "hi," the little girl then she asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her. The young soldier, he didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.

The mother of the little girl, who said her daughters name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had been in Iraq for 11 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her daughter, Courtney, missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up. When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it.

After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, "I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you" He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying "your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon."

The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet he saluted Courtney and her mom. I was standing no more than 6 feet away from this entire event unfolded. As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, their were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of selflessness, turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.

We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be an American.
 

[Collected via e-mail, July 2006]

Last week I was in Trenton, Ontario. attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest act's of patriotism I have ever seen.

Moving thru the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camo's, as they began heading to their gate everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering. When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red blooded Canadian who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families.

Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal. Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He kneeled down and said "hi," the little girl then she asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her. The young soldier, he didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.

The mother of the little girl, who said her daughters name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Corporal and had been in Afghanistan for 11 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her daughter, Courtney, missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up. When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it.

After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, "I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you." He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying "your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon."

The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet he saluted Courtney and her mom. I was standing no more than 6 feet away from this entire event unfolded. As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, their were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of selflessness, turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.

We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be a Canadian.
 

[Collected via e-mail, August 2006]

Last week I was in Melbourne attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen. Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their uniforms, as they began
heading to their gate everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering. When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red blooded Australian who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families. Of course, I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work, and enjoy our home without fear or reprisal. Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He knelt down and said "hi," the little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her. The young soldier didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. Suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek. The mother of the little girl, who said her daughters name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Corporal and had been in Afghanistan for 5 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her daughter, Courtney, missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up. When this temporarily single mum was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second.

Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it. After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, "I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you." He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying "Your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon." The mum at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet he saluted Courtney and her mum. I was standing no more than 6 feet away as this entire event unfolded. As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of moment turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek. We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be an Australian.
 

[Collected via e-mail, March 2009]

Last week I was in West London attending a conference.

While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer.

I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.

Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their uniforms, as they began heading to their gate everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering.

When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red blooded Briton who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families. Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work, and enjoy our home without fear or reprisal.

Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers.

He knelt down and said 'hi,' the little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her.

The young soldier didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy.

Suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.

The mother of the little girl, who said her daughters name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Corporal and had been in Afghanistan for 5 months now.

As the mum was explaining how much her daughter, Courtney, missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up.

When this temporarily single mum was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second.

Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military looking walkie-talkie.

They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it. After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, 'I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.'

He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a Kiss on the cheek.

He finished by saying 'Your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.'

The mum at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet he saluted Courtney and her mum.

I was standing no more than 6 feet away as this entire event unfolded.

As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause.

As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own.

That young soldier in one last act of moment turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.

We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices.

At the end of the day, it's good to be an Englishman.
 

Origins:   This story about a heartwarming encounter in an airport between a little girl and an arriving troop of soldiers — the latter of whom are greeted by a spontaneous burst of applause from onlookers, and one of whom contrives to deliver the girl a kiss ostensibly from her father — began to circulate on the Internet in late June 2006. By late July 2006, it was also traveling about in a Canadianized form (see second example above); by mid-August 2006 an Australianized version was on the move as well (third example above); and in March 2009 a UK-based version joined the stream. Each of the three tellings was often the first segment of an e-mail exhorting recipients to wear red on Fridays to show support for the troops.

Notice how the four versions, each presented as a true account of events the writer himself witnessed, differ slightly from one another in their details:
  • American
  • Takes place in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Courtney's father is a Marine who has been serving in Iraq for 11 months.
  • Canadian
  • Takes place in Trenton, Ontario.
  • Courtney's father is a corporal who has been serving in Afghanistan for 11 months.
  • Australian
  • Takes place in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Courtney's father is a corporal who has been serving in Afghanistan for 5 months.
  • UK
  • Takes place in London, England.
  • Courtney's father is a corporal who has been serving in Afghanistan for 5 months.
The Australian version also changes most references to Courtney's mother from "mom" to "mum."

We don't know if the original (most likely the American version) is an account of an actual event or is a work of fiction, although we do know is that the Canadian version has twice appeared in newspapers in Canada, once very clearly identified as having been gleaned from an anonymous e-mail circulating online, and once presented as something the author had himself witnessed.

It's quite possible that this account was inspired by Anheuser-Busch's "Applause" commercial, which aired twice in 2005 (once during the 2005 Super Bowl and once during the 2005 Daytona 500) and portrayed a scene of arriving U.S. soldiers being greeted with spontaneous applause from onlookers at an airport:


That commercial was itself reportedly inspired by a similar event (organized by the USO) which was witnessed at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2004 by a creative director with the Chicago office of the DDB advertising agency. However, both that event and the resultant commercial featured only returning troops being applauded by travelers as they make their way through the airport terminal; neither included the element of one of those soldiers accepting a kiss from a little girl and delivering one in return from her father.

Last updated:   28 October 2013

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Sources:

    Golem, Mary.   "Opinion: Let's All Wear Red on Friday."
    Hanover [Ontario] Post.   11 August 2006   (p. A7).

    Reid, Robert.   "Opinion: Show Support for Our Soldiers."
    Belleville [Ontario] Intelligencer.   4 August 2006   (p. 5).

    Thomasch, Paul.   "In Timing Twist, Budweiser Revives Classic Ads."
    Reuters.   11 July 2008.