The sacrifice our troops make seems even greater around the holidays. Many are forced to spend time away from home during a holiday that's all about family.
Sadie Rolff has been having a hard time the past few weeks because she thought this would be the first holiday without her brother Koy home. He's serving in the National Guard and is stationed Missouri. What Sadie didn't know is that her Christmas surprise was coming a week early.
Their mother, Katey Rolff, would say her kids have a typical sibling relationship, but this isn't a typical holiday for their family. Koy left for basic training in September, and as far as his sister Sadey knew, he was going to miss Christmas. "I found out he wasn't going to come back until February," says Sadey. "What we did is we said he was coming home," says Katey, "and so it was a fibbing I guess you could say."
What Sadey didn't know is her family wasn't telling her the whole truth, Koy was already home, "Now that I'm home now she doesn't know," says Koy, "so that should be the best part of the surprise."
Friday, with Sadey in class at Longfellow Middle School, the Rolff family made a surprise visit. Sadey thought she was doing an interview with us about typical holiday traditions, when the unexpected walked through the door, her brother Koy.
The two hugged and Sadey cried as her class broke out in applause. Katey cried too, so did many people there. You don't typically see a brother/sister moment like it every day, but you wish you did.
And after tears and hugs from the whole family, and one big group hug from Mrs. Wilke's class, the typical brother/sister pair went home to start their holiday.
Koy will be here for the next couple of weeks before heading back to Missouri. When he finishes his training he'll be coming home to serve with his unit in Onalaska.
Koy is part of a military family. He is a fourth generation soldier for the Rolff family and his fiance is enlisted in the Marines.