Good Deeds | Children | Uplifting

The True Story Behind This Viral Photo Will Make You Cry

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When we think about the sacrifices our veterans make we normally think of heroes who distinguish themselves in combat, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Soldiers shake hands with Iraqi children.U.S. Army

One Air Force member's act of kindness - captured in a photo taken while he was "sleeping on the job" - reminds us all of the important work our troops do off the battlefield.

Chief Master Sergeant John Gebhardt spent more than 30 years in the Air Force, and was deployed in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. While serving at Iraq's Balad Air Base, he made a special connection that would be remembered forever.

Gebhardt comforts a child while in Iraq.John Gebhardt

Gebhardt made a habit of visiting the base's military hospital to look after the injured children who were being treated there. Every fussy kid he picked up meant one less thing for the nurses to deal with, and he was especially helpful with one little girl.

The 2 or 3-year-old had been taken to the hospital after being shot in the head. Her family had been killed by insurgents who left her for dead, but she managed to pull through.

For 4 nights in a row, Gebhardt slept in a chair in the little girl's room so he could comfort her, which is where the iconic photo was taken.

Find out what happened after the photo was taken on the next page!

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