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Navy brother surprises little sister after three years

Big Brother Surprises Sister After 3-Year Deployment

Little Ryleigh Gardner from New Jersey hadn't seen her big brother, Navy Petty Officer Second Class Frank Schaffer, for three whole years ... until this tearjerking surprise. Fox News reports, "Sailor Frank 'Tommy' Schaffer surprising his third-grade sister at her elementary school, giving her flowers."

His little sister was highlighted on KYW-TV, "I never knew he would actually come here."

Schaffer had been deployed to Japan, and he and his little sister had only seen each other via Skype and Facetime. "It's pretty rough ... being away from family -- especially a younger sibling," says the Navy officer.

Even though they spent so much time apart, Ryleigh never stopped looking up to him. WABC reports, "Ryleigh had to choose a role model as part of a school project. She chose big brother."

Right before the big surprise, as Ryleigh was called on stage, Schaffer hid behind the curtain and read what she wrote about him. Ryleigh says she can't stop smiling, and their mother is thrilled he's back as well:"I'm just very happy that they're together," she said, in tears.

Schaffer plans to finally spend some quality time with his little sister in person.

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Join the discussion

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thoramon June 27 2014 at 7:59 AM

Great job, love these storys

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Buckingham's June 27 2014 at 11:42 AM

Bless her heart.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
joeclown June 27 2014 at 1:19 PM

I remember the fun returning from Vietnam. First thing we were told was that it was probably best to not wear your uniform and let people know you were military.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
2 replies
Clyde joeclown June 27 2014 at 2:29 PM

That was becausse of Kerry and his protesting with Hanoi Jane

Flag Reply +1 rate up
ayyiyicaramba joeclown June 27 2014 at 2:52 PM

So TRUE! After my tour in Vietnam I was re-assigned to the 82d AD at Fort Bragg, N.C. FOR OUR PROTECTION, we were NOT permitted to exit the reservation (except if going home in your vehicle) wearing our fatigues.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
chuck June 27 2014 at 11:36 AM

3 years? come on dude. you get 30 days leave every year. whare have you been? MARS?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
3 replies
cabinsmoke June 27 2014 at 3:36 PM

I guessed wrong again !!!!!! I thought she won the Clearing House sweeptakes.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
oujoou June 27 2014 at 1:19 PM

What the HELL are kids doing STILL in school in late June? Something is wrong. They should be out playing in the yard or swimming or playing wii or going to Disneyland. :(

Flag Reply +1 rate up
3 replies
goodgrief61945 June 27 2014 at 10:04 AM

No one should be away from their family for THREE years !!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
AYSKOFI June 27 2014 at 1:14 PM

OMG, not another feel-good propaganda story about our fighting forces. I'm really fed up with this BS all the time.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
2 replies
ayyiyicaramba AYSKOFI June 27 2014 at 2:46 PM

Gee...Hope stories/reports like this drives you to commit SUICIDE!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
icikebbocsike AYSKOFI June 27 2014 at 3:26 PM

stupid propaganda story

Flag Reply 0 rate up
supermolar June 27 2014 at 12:30 PM

if we weren't fighting these stupid "wars"- there would be no need for these separations in the first place

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
libra8 supermolar June 27 2014 at 12:41 PM

Yea, that pesky war in Japan kept him away from home. Iraq, Afghanistan OK.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
mulepick June 27 2014 at 10:29 AM

FOX creating grief for this sailor when he gets back to his command by calling him a "Navy officer". But when only 8% of society are veterans, people think the CNO is Capn Crunch.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
Clyde mulepick June 27 2014 at 2:28 PM

He is a Navy officer PO2 is a NCO and for your imfo that is a NON COMISSONED OFFICER Are you a Vet or just a proster

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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