Twitter | @Molly_Cravens17

This Kid Shows Up At His Neighbor's House To Do Dad Stuff While His Own Dad Is Deployed

It started with Brian noticing Dean out with his hedge trimmers and coming over to talk about it. 

Twitter | @Molly_Cravens17

And although Brian loves to do "dad stuff" like yard work, they have some fun, as well, playing catch or golf or basketball. Dean, who has three daughters and no sons of his own, loves hanging out with Brian, too.

Brian's mom knows this is a temporary thing, but she's grateful to have such great neighbors.

Twitter | @Molly_Cravens17

Obviously Dean can't replace his dad, but it's still a wonderful thing. "When Dan gets back, Brian's going to cry and run to him with open arms," she told ABC News.

Molly posted a few pics of Brian on Twitter, and, no surprise, people have been unleashing their tears over this awesome friendship.

Twitter | @DylanLim21

Her message has been retweeted almost 2,800 times and liked more than 21,000 times.

And how can you not love this? It's so amazing when people come together for the good of a kid.

Twitter | @Chi_towngirl80

Well done, Cravens, well done. Here's hoping Brian's dad is back home safe and sound as soon as possible!

Military families are strong, but they're made stronger by good supports on the home front. 

Reddit | Thejesusparticle

While technology helps families stay closer than ever before, it can't replace someone. Nothing really can, but the people who step up do make a huge difference.

This two-star general surprised a student whose dad was deployed by showing up to his class and reading with them.

Twitter | @FranconiaES

It's so amazing to see this kind of support; that's real leadership.

One deployed dad, who's also a police officer, could count on his buddies on the force to look after his boy while he was overseas.

Twitter | @MentorPolice

You couldn't ask for better protection!

Likewise, these firefighters are looking out for the son of one of their own while he's deployed.

Twitter | @IAFFLocal59

Just more evidence that first responders are the best kind of people.

Another deployed dad who knew he would miss his daddy-daughter dance hired a Beast to escort his Belle to the ball. 

Facebook | Lanya Nelson

Even though she missed her daddy, he still made it a special day for her. For military families, separation is a part of life, but that doesn't make it any easier for kids. But there are some ways to help the little ones cope.

It might seem like time stops, but life does go on during deployment. 

Facebook | National Military Family Association

And kids like Brian aren't alone. There are literally millions of kids in America who have parents serving overseas.

The stresses of having a parent out of the country, possibly in harm's way, can show up in many different ways. |

Younger kids might be more prone to crying, clinginess, headaches, stomach aches, and nightmares, while older kids might show more aggression and other trouble-making.

Research has shown that the longer the parent is deployed, the worse the effects can be.  

Reddit | DarkSide66

But even after just a month apart, kids with deployed parents have reported higher rates of depression.

That said, there are some things that the remaining parents and caregivers can do for kids who are missing their deployed parents.

National Military Family Association | National Military Family Association

And it's only getting better, as the experts learn from previous deployments and resources get built up.

The best place to start is conversation. Talk to your kids, and be honest and consistent. |

Kids are going to have questions — where Mom or Dad is, when they'll be home, and so on — and you need to answer them as clearly and consistently as possible.

Make sure they know it's not their fault.

Tumblr | turkeyglue

That scene in Good Will Hunting was spot on. Kids, especially younger ones, might just assume they've done something wrong. Treat it like their mom or dad is at work, just like going to the office every day.

Take care of your own mental health, too.

Facebook | National Military Family Association

Kids are great imitators, and they'll follow your lead. The more stressed out you are, the more stressed out your kids are likely to be as well. Talk about your feelings, and encourage your kids to do the same.

Keep to routines, and involve your kid as much as possible.

Reddit | joeyd11213

That means keeping the same rules of the house as when Mom or Dad is home, and taking regular time together to write emails, make care packages, and even just look at pics together.

Connect with other families who have parents deployed, too. 

Facebook | National Military Family Association

There are some great groups out there, like Military Kids Connect or the National Military Family Association, that provide resources for kids who have parents overseas.

And, of course, if you have neighbors and friends like Dean and Molly Cravens in your life, you're lucky.

Reddit | _stay_inspired

That sweet day when the family is reunited doesn't seem so far off when you have great people like that in your life!

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