At just 8 years old, Ronin had already seen his dad, Senior Master Sergeant Mark Coffelt, go on deployment 3 times in 4 years.
According to his mother, Ronin idolized his father and considered him to be his hero. And why not? The man serves his country, he's everyone's hero. Due to his inability to be as present in his son’s life as he would have liked, Mark Coffelt found a way around it.
He always sends his son packages every month, to surprise him, knowing it would make him happy.
Ronin would turn 9 on the 6th of May, but rather than being joyful, he was worried. He was scared that, due to the nature of Mark’s job, his father would be unavailable to attend his birthday party.
According to Ronin’s mother, Aleecia, whenever she tried to assure him that his father would not miss his birthday, the little boy remained skeptical.
He would always ask her what would happen in the event that the army refused to let him go. On her part, she did her best to quell his doubts and assure him that his dad would do everything to make sure he was present at the party.
On the day of his birthday, rather than his father, Ronin received a box with a note that contained a heartbreaking message.
Ronin read the content of the letter, with an increasingly cracked voice as it revealed his greatest fear - his father would be unable to make it to his birthday.
He had already given way to tears when, upon the encouragement of his mom, he opened the big box. The box led to several other boxes, which culminated in a note with a single word on it,
Indeed, it was a surprise, for when he looked up, his father was standing in front of him with a smile on his face. It was a moment of joy, as Ronin hugged the man he admired most in the world.
Later, it was revealed that Aleecia and her husband planned the whole thing. The initial plan fell fallen through, as and they had wanted him to pop out of the box. When they couldn't find a big enough box, they settled for the note strategy, and the results could not have been better.
Aleecia recorded the event and the video went viral as soon as it hit the internet, racking up views and comments from excited internet users.
No doubt, Ronin will forever remember his 9th birthday as his favorite.