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Boy with cerebral palsy walks to Marine dad for 1st time at homecoming

May 10, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A North Carolina Marine got the shock of a lifetime after returning home from deployment in Afghanistan.

When Staff Sgt. Jeremy Cooney went overseas, his 6-year-old boy, Michael, could not walk on his own due to his cerebral palsy.

Doctors originally told the family Michael would never walk, or do much of anything. But he proved them all wrong when he took his first steps while his father was away.

Michael's triumph provided a great surprise when he walked over to Cooney for the first time upon his father's arrival at Camp LeJeune.

"Michael! What's up Mike?" Cooney said as he spotted his son from a distance. Dressed in his army fatigues, Cooney crouched down as he watched Michael, who paced himself with each step, walk over to him.

Cooney could only watch, wait, and encourage his son to keep moving forward.

"C'mon, c'mon," Cooney said and motioned with his hands as Michael inched closer and closer. Finally, Michael was near enough for his father to scoop him up in his arms. The two embraced in a moment that seemed to slow down time as cheers and claps erupted from the crowd.

The heartwarming encounter was captured on video and was posted by Michael's mother on welcomehomeblog.com, a website for videos of surprise military homecomings.