May 14, 2015
Chief Master at Arms is a title that Chad holds seriously as a Navy Reservist stationed over seas. Chad has been with the Navy Reserves for 20 years but his most important title came 16 years ago, when he became a father to his daughter Kortni. Six years after he became a father of one, he became a father of two. Kortini and Sami. In 2008, he was sent on his first overseas mission to Kuwait City, then again in 2009-2010 as Protective Service and recently he was sent to Djibouti. This last trip to Djibouti was a little over a year, but felt much longer to his two daughters. Kortni was 15 at the time of his deployment last year, a time where daughters cling to their dads for guidance, and Sami was only 9 but so in love with her father. The girls started their first cheer season with Connect Cheer NW while daddy was deployed. They would chat with him via Skype to fill him in on everything they were learning, the new friends they were making and the support from the new cheer community. Explaining to non-military families that daddy is deployed can be one of the hardest things for a child to do. Luckily, this deployment was only little over a year. The girls did not know that their mother and father were planning the ultimate surprise for their daughters. Their mother, Michelle, allowed Our Military Kids to be part of this surprise with Connect Cheer NW. We planned it all out, Dad was going to surprise the girls at Worlds Competition down in Orlando, FL. He was going to walk in during one of their practices so he would be able to watch Kortni compete all weekend and celebrate Sami’s tenth birthday! But the airlines had another plan. Unfortunately, Chad’s plane was delayed and the original plan was going to be ruined, until, Jodi (co-owner of CCNW), took planning into her hands and organized a “team meeting” for the girls to attend. As the girls talked in a circle, Kortni’s father stood behind them before bending down to take his daughter into his arms! (Sami was already wrapped around her dad, not ever wanting to let go.) We are so happy to be part of this, even if it was a small amount. We wantto wish the whole family and community a happy homecoming!