When sixth graders at Carnegie Elementary School in Pennsylvania were assigned to write about the heroes in their lives, Damon Chiodo knew exactly who he would highlight: His brother.
U.S. Army Specialist Devin Tomei maintains helicopters overseas.
It was work that kept the elder Tomei away from his family for more than two years, but Damon knew it was important.
“Hundreds of Army missions depend on these helicopters,” Damon wrote. “And my brother must make sure that all of them are safe and ready to fly.”
As he read his essay, Damon received the surprise of a lifetime as Devin joined him on stage.
When he realized what was happening, Damon excitedly jumped on Devin, who was all smiles as he clutched his brother.
Devin will remain with his family until the end of October before reporting to Fort Campbell in Kentucky.
“My brother is brave and smart,” Damon wrote in his essay, according to TribLIVE.com. “He is always there for me, even if I just want to talk. I am very proud of him for choosing to protect me, and everyone in the United States. He is not just my brother. He is also my friend."