Girl With Sailor Doll Reunites With Navy Dad After His Deployment
A five-year-old girl cries “that’s you” as she reunites with her Navy-serving father while holding a sailor teddy bear he had gotten for her to remember him while deployed. Martin Palomo, 29, was originally on deployment when his daughter, Lailah, was born, and when he met her for the first time, at four months old, he gave her the little teddy with a sailor outfit on. That was in 2016, and for his most-recent deployment, Martin, an E5 with the U.S. Navy, headed off onboard the USS Chafee for seven months, leaving Lailah with the teddy sailor to keep her company. The deployment was tough on five-year-old Lailah, her mom, Brittany, 27, said, and every night she would tear up and say that she missed her dad. During that time, though, the teddy provided Lailah with some comfort: she would play with it and sleep with it, almost like a replacement for her father, Brittany said. On February 19, the day of their reunion at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Lailah patiently waited for her dad to leave his ship, holding her teddy in one hand. When they finally ran towards each other and embraced, Lailah held up her teddy saying: "That's you!"
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