Everyone loves a military homecoming story. We relate to the tears, we virtually share the hugs, and we look on as families are reunited once again.
But we don’t often get the opportunity to witness what comes after that homecoming. Where are those families now, so many years later?
In 2011, NBC 15 shared the story of U.S. Army dad Captain William McElroy from Mobile, Alabama. The day he surprised his son and daughter on the football field after a game is surely a memory they’ll never forget.
Captain McElroy’s daughter, Anna McElroy, was moved to tears that day just as her brother Grant was. Both clearly love their father deeply.
Now Anna is 19 and has shown her love in a heartwarming — and now viral — way. As it turns out, Anna has quite the musical talent.
In honor of her father’s 29 years of service with the military, Anna got together with Keith C. Follese and Adrienne Follese and wrote a song.
“‘Both Sides Of The Ocean’… is a summary of our lives during the 2 years my dad was on active duty,” Anna wrote on Facebook.
“I managed to keep this song a secret until his retirement party,” Anna went on, explaining that it was a “miracle” she “made it through without shedding a tear.”
“But it was by far the most difficult thing to hold back,” Anna added. “I love you dad. Thank you for everything.”
Now that we’ve heard the song too, we understand why this star in the making might get emotional over this touching tribute to her father.
Is it too late for Anna McElroy to audition for American Idol? She’s hugely talented and her proud dad — who retired on March 1, 2019 — agrees!
“She has the passion,” Captain McElroy told NBC 15. “She has the drive and determination to succeed… that is the most satisfying thing.”
Though Anna is currently pursuing a business degree at the University of Alabama, we think she may just be in the business of music before we know it.
We hope so, anyway. Congratulations on your retirement, Captain McElroy. And Anna, keep on sharing that beautiful voice and heart with the world. You’re an inspiration to us all.
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