A San Diego family said farewell to navy Petty Officer 1st Class Josh Buetow as he left for his first deployment. His children, a 4-year-old daughter, and a 2-year-old son, were jumping up and down trying to yell their last words when the USS Carl Vinson was departing away with their dad on it.
San Diego police officer James Weaver spotted the family’s farewell while on a usual patrol routine.
“I figured there’s no way he’s going to hear their voices at least 50 yards away … I thought I’d give them a chance to be louder and give their voices a chance to be heard by their dad,” Weaver recalled when he told WTHR.
The policeman pulled over and lent the kids his car’s public address microphone as the daughter Rileigh Buetow took the advantage and yelled ‘bye Daddy. I love you, Daddy.’
“Austin [the brother] didn’t talk, but Rileigh was all for it,” their mother, Bretteny Buetow, reminisced.
“Even though it’s such a small thing, it meant the world to me and the world to the kids,” she continued. “He wanted to make the kids happy, and give them one last chance to be heard.”
It was indeed a very heartwarming gesture from officer Weaver. It was a nostalgic moment to him as he also grew up when his father joined the Navy and would be deployed for 6 months at a time.
“It’s hard because, especially when you’re younger, you don’t realize what’s going on,” Weaver recalled his childhood. “All the sudden, Dad’s gone.”
“With two little kids of my own, I can see how hard it is on the other side, being the parent,” said the officer, who is now a father of two.
The Buetow family already spent their night before together saying goodbye, but the mother knew it was not enough. She drove the kids to Shelter Island the following day to have the last glimpse of their dad.
Bretteny remembered she could not hold her tears when the kids began saying goodbye. As for Weaver’s kind gesture, she said, “he didn’t have to do that. It was really kind of him to pull up and try to make it special.”
The touching experience with officer Weaver was shared on Bretteny’s Facebook, in which she said, “I am so grateful for ALL of the men and women in uniform who serve and protect our country!”
She hoped that their little story would remind others of the beautiful things that life still fosters.
“I want people to know there is so much positive stuff going on in the world. You have to stop looking at everything negative and see the positive,” she said in an interview with WTHR.
Was the officer’s public address speaker enough to deliver the message to the father? Unfortunately, he was not on deck when the carrier was departing, but the mother recalled, “as far as they[the kids] know, he heard them.”