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By J.G. Noll

Homecoming videos often get a bad rap. Critics say that they set up unrealistic standards for most couples and that, for most families, homecoming is filled with complicated emotions that videos simply don’t capture.

While all of that may be true, we’ll make an exception for the homecoming video of an Air Force family that surfaced on Facebook this week. Jackie Dibble, military spouse of two years, posted her home video first on a private group. It was picked up by Humans on the Homefront, a social media profile run by military spouse T. T. Robinson that shares inspirational and uplifting content about military life. As of February 23, the video had already been viewed more than 28,000 times.

The video shows Dibble’s four-year-old son, Rykker, greeting his dad after a deployment. The catch? Dibble’s son had surgery for a complication with his Cerebral Palsy. We’ll let Dibble tell the rest of the story in her own words.

On the original post, Dibble wrote:

This is our magical moment! My kiddo is four years old and has Cerebral Palsy. He had hip abductor release surgery while my husband was gone. When he recovered the next week, his Physical Therapist sat down with us and asked us what our goals were. Without any hesitation, my son said, ‘I want to walk to my daddy when he comes home!!!!!!!!’

She looked at me and I told her, ‘We have five months!’ She looked at him and said, ‘As long as you’re on board I’m down to make it happen, but you can’t give up!’

He smiled and said, ‘Challenge accepted!'”

Five months later, here’s his moment!

When we reached Dibble for an interview, she added that her Rykker’s physical therapist worked diligently to make his dream a reality. “They switched therapy to two times a week, gave him a loaner walker, and he honestly took off on his own because in his head he was determined to walk to daddy when he came home.” Dibble and her other son “were his fans just rooting him onto the finish line.” She noted that when there was no therapy for the day, Rykker would go outside to practice walking.

Rykker’s hard work paid off: “The moment my husband stepped off those stairs and saw him, he was so excited to see [Rykker] walking because it has always been our dream to see our little boy walk!”

The reality is that many military spouses deal with difficult situations and obstacles while their spouses are deployed. Rykker’s surgery happened during his dad’s deployment, meaning that Dibble was effectively on her own during her son’s recovery and therapy. She had this to say to spouses facing adversity: “Never give up because the outcome is worth the tears and pushing through! No matter the situation, you are strong. You can get through anything!”

 Watch the entire video:


J.G. Noll is the Editor of Military One Click and a veteran’s spouse. She can be reached at joanna@militaryoneclick.com.

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