SOUTHGATE, Ky. -- Nine-year-old Tyler Tow told his mom he’d give up all of his presents if he could just be with his dad on Christmas.
Tyler’s mom, Cara Lalley, said all her son wanted for Christmas was to spend time with his father, Sgt. Troy Tow, who has spent the last seven years serving in the military.
"For a 9-year-old to come up to me and say, ‘Mom… I would give anything. I don't want anything for Christmas… I would give it all up if dad could just come home,’” Lalley said.
When Tyler was announced the winner of a raffle Wednesday at Southgate Elementary School’s Christmas Musical, he had no idea his wish would soon be granted.
After five long months away from his dad, Tyler got exactly what he wanted for Christmas -- and so did his dad.
"It was one of those feeling you can't get all the time,” Troy said. “It was like my heart was at my feet."
Cara said seeing the smile on her son’s face made it all worthwhile.
"Ty’s the man of the house when dad's away, and that's a lot to put on a 9-year-old's shoulders,” Lalley said.
Though he’s only 9 years old, Tyler understands the sacrifices his father makes.
"He goes out and defends our country and risks his life,” Tyler said.
But his dad says the job itself is easy.
"Defending the country is the easy part. Being away from family is the hard part,” Troy said.
Sgt. Tow will be leaving for Kuwait in mid-January.