Posted at: 12/21/2012 12:00 AM
By: Don Hudson
Christmas came a little early for a young Batavia boy. And the surprise gift wasn't in a box, but wrapped up in his military uniform.
Hassan Armstrong is a kindergarten student at Jackson Elementary. For the past year, his father has been in Kuwait serving in the Military. And Hassan, his little brother and his mother haven't seen dad during that separation.
However, that changed Thursday during a Christmas concert, and we were there to see them embrace for the first time in a year.
While several classes of youngsters took turns singing - their parents could be seen smiling, clapping and taking a lot of pictures. But for Kindergarten student Hassan Armstrong, the concert wasn't a joyous occasion because his parents couldn't be there. Stephanie Armstrong, Hassan's mother says "He was telling his teacher that mom and dad couldn't be here because mom has to work and dad is in the army."
Little did Hassan know that on Wednesday the school and his mother had set in motion a really big surprise. And that surprise played out during the concert. First, his mom was able to get out of work and made it to the concert. Then the real surprise - his father, Corporal Haven Armstrong, had come home for Christmas. As he entered the room, packed with parents and students, Hassan ran and jumped in his arms. Everyone began clapping their hands and watched as they embraced in a moment that defines love. Haven Armstrong says "It meant everything to come see him for the first time. I didn't know there would be this many people. But I wanted to surprise him at the school. Its been a long year. A long year."
It was moment that defines that bound between a father and young son and a moment Hassan's mother had hoped for. "It just brings joy to my heart. And any parent can relate. Just seeing they're happy. There is nothing that brings more joy as a parent."