Except for a brief trip home in April for his grandmother’s funeral, MASN Ty Smittle, currently serving in the U.S. Navy, has been stationed overseas since October 2016. Smittle’s mother, Aimee Glassburn, said while his absence has been hard on the family, his little sister Laura O’Bryan (called Woota by her family) has taken his absence particularly hard.

With the help of Woota’s teacher at Vinton Elementary, Daniel Tenney, school secretary Tonya Gibson and Cindy Maynard, Glassburn was able to coordinate the Christmas surprise of his return for her daughter.



According to Glassburn, Woota said it was the best Christmas ever.

Welcome home MASN Ty Smittle and to all those serving, who won’t make it home for the holidays, and their families, thank you for your sacrifice and service.

Photo courtesy of Aimee Glassburn