Not many can resist watching videos created by or for our nation’s military. The recordings may capture a tear jerking moment as a soldier surprises his/her family with a special home visit. Other videos document light-hearted moments when troops join together for a creative parody of a popular recording artist. Viewers across the country relish sharing the happy moments. Once posted, little time passes before a great video goes viral and word travels through social networking sites.
United Through Reading
In October of 2011, a video of a father reading a book to his daughter went viral. However, this was not just any ordinary bedtime story. The two-year-old watched enthusiastically as her daddy read to her while stationed in the Middle East. The scene ends with daddy and daughter sharing a virtual hug. Mom records the entire event and passes the touching moment on to her husband thousands of miles away. The video captured hearts across the country and served as a heart-warming example of families coming together thanks to the United Through Reading program.
Working in collaboration with the USO since 1990, the non-profit organization unites children with a parent or other family member serving in the military by recording a book reading session. The child then receives the book and DVD in the mail. Numerous soldiers deployed in destinations around the world have the opportunity of presenting their child with a video and receiving a response. The program assists children and military parents in coping with the separation.
Countless citizens across the country enjoy watching homecomings occurring between a soldier and their family. Viewing these special moments undoubtedly brightens many a day as spectators share in the joy and relief of another soldier arriving home safely. Even four-legged family members cannot contain their excitement when reunited with an owner coming home after deployment to the Middle East.
The video features “Chuck” the boxer, who upon hearing the words “Daddy’s home,” goes in search of his owner. Seeking out his beloved companion, Chuck leaps in excitement, bringing the soldier to the floor. Jumping and tail wagging, the excited dog slathers his daddy with plenty of kisses. However, this was not the first happy homecoming. Chuck’s daddy received a similar greeting after a previous deployment. Mom luckily captured this unique welcoming on video. A week after uploading the recording in March of 2012, YouTube documented over one million views.
On August of 2011, the U.S. Air Force Central Command band known as “Sidewinder” stopped in at an air base in Southwest Asia to entertain the 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron Airmen. Accompanied only by the voices of male band members and acoustic instruments, Staff Sgt. Angie Johnson capably offered her rendition of Adele’s smash hit “Rolling in the Deep.” A fan in the audience recorded the performance an uploaded the video to YouTube. The video brought the band instant celebrity status. All received requests for interviews and friend requests on Facebook.
The video caught the attention of hundreds of thousands of viewers including the staff at Good Morning America and celebrities Carson Daly and Ryan Seacrest. Sgt. Johnson won an audition on the television show the “Voice,” and now has a recording contract. The video currently has over three million hits. Sidewinder belongs to the Missouri Air National Guard’s 571st Air Force Band and travels the world to boost troop morale and enhance relationships with other nations.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Tanya Roberts is a military historian and guest author at Military Education, where she has written guides to top-ranking military friendly schools.