Lifestyle & Human Interest

10-Year-Old Boy Finally Reunited with Army Brother After Praying for Him for 11 Months


Anyone who has left a younger relative for an extended period of time knows just how plain the uncertainty appears in those little eyes, the hunger for connection. If a child is very small, he or she may ask, “Are you coming back?”

And no matter how much you may reassure them, little ones always seem to have a hard time believing. Older kids tend to put on a braver face.

But absences impact them, too, particularly when they involve military deployments. The surprise reunion of a deployed Utah National Guard member and his 10-year-old brother demonstrates that truth.

Burgundy Blomquist told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, that the deployment of her older son Army Sgt. Smokey Osborn to the Middle East as part of the Utah National Guard’s 211th Aviation Group hit her family hard.

It particularly impacted his little brother, Raider.

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“He was gone for 11 months,” Blomquist, a resident of Beaver, Utah, explained. “We had no idea the deployment was going to be so hard on Raider.

“He was one sad little boy when [Smokey] left and, seriously, was so worried and prayed so hard the entire time.”

In fact, Blomquist wrote on Facebook that “for almost a year, Raider has prayed two or three times a day that Smokey would be safe and get to come home.”

Such emotional impact isn’t uncommon.

“Children in military families experience high rates of mental health, trauma, and related problems,” National Center for Children in Poverty reported. “Military life can be a source of psychological stress for children.

“Multiple deployments, frequent moves and having a parent injured or die is a reality for many children in military families.”

The group also stated that “high levels of sadness were seen in children in all age groups.”

However, there was one thing the organization failed to mention: Reunions between military members and their families can prove particularly sweet.

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According to Fox News, Osborn reunited with Raider at Belknap Elementary School — in the middle of one of his younger brother’s classes. Blomquist posted a video of the encounter on Facebook, and their interaction will melt your heart.

It opens with Osborn quietly walking through the school’s halls, young students peering up at him in wonder and teachers greeting him.

“Where’s he at?” Osborn whispers before sliding into Raider’s classroom.

He finds Raider in the back row, the very picture of preteen boredom. Raider has his head down as his teacher lectures, his arm splayed out across the desk.

But all of that changes as soon as he sees his big brother. A look of astonishment flashes across his face, and he flies out of his seat, rocketing backward so fast that he crashes into a wall.

Someone gasps, but Raider hardly notices. He’s too busy hurling himself at his older brother, jumping on him like a leaping spider and wrapping his arms and legs around him.

The tears start to flow soon after, and Blomquist explained that the boy truly struggled with Smokey’s absence.

“Raider has been obsessed with the Army since Smokey got back from basic training,” she told Liftable.

“He loves the Army and his big brother. Having him deployed was one of the hardest things we have all done.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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