When Sgt. John Vorrath arranged to watch his wife give birth to their daughter, Charlotte, half a world away through a FaceTime session on Oct. 24, he never imagined he'd have her in his arms a mere 22 hours later. Sgt. Vorrath, a member of the Iowa National Guard, is deployed in the Middle East and was not expected to return home for another six months. But while he was watching Charlotte's birth on an iPad, his commander slipped him a note, surprising him that his leave application was approved. He immediately bought a ticket home and surprised his wife, Janae, when he walked through the door of her Mary Greeley Medical Center hospital room. After spending time with his wife and new addition, he surprised another hospital visitor — the couple's 2-year-old son. Both reunions were captured on video.
"I was shocked and stunned,'' Janae told TODAY.com. "I'm not sure if I can put into words how special it was to share those first few days of our daughter's life together, especially since we had prepared ourselves for him to not meet her until she was approximately 6 months old."
Sgt. Vorrath spent a week at home caring for his wife, bonding with his daughter, and reading books to his son before returning to his post. As we prepare to celebrate Veterans Day this week, check out the video of the reunions below, and remember all of the soldiers who aren't lucky enough to witness their children's births.