While military families understand there will be times apart, this Georgia mom was heartbroken to discover just how much her young son was affected by his dad's long stretches away from home.
Kimberly Gershowitz, from Kings Bay, shared a heart-wrenching video showing the moment her Navy husband, Aaron, picked up their son from school after three months away.
While she thought 4-year-old Matthew would be all smiles, he jumped in his father's arms before he stuttered, "Daddy, you're not going to go anymore?
"I missed you so much, daddy. I cried so much for you," he continues, balled up in his father's arms.
"It was not what I expected," the boy's mom told InsideEdition.com. "I never realized how much deployment really affected him."
She said Matthew and his father are close and Matthew often does not adjust to his father being away for at least a month.
Gershowitz explained it's harder for her and her two sons to stay in contact with her Navy husband because he is an MM1 nuclear mechanic and works on a submarine. "That tour was especially daunting because they were on alert most of the time," Gershowitz told InsideEdition.com.
Before Aaron left for tour, he recorded a video of himself reading a book to his sons -- which only upset little Matthew even more when he realized it was not a Skype recording, and his father couldn't respond.
"I think we sometimes forget that little minds are strong minds," she said. "Luckily, children are resilient."