by: Leland Kim
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII (KHNL) - Donovan Sitek welcomes friends into his home. On this Thanksgiving, the precocious seven-year-old is happy his dad is back home, safe and sound.
"I love him and I missed him," said Donovan Sitek.
His dad Sean is a helicopter mechanic with the United States Marine Corps. He's been in Iraq for the past six months.
"And I was like, please don't make my dad fight because I don't want him to die," said Donovan.
His mom, also a Marine, says Donovan prayed for his dad every day.
"It just broke my heart every time he said it," said Staff Sergeant Twyla Sitek, Donovan's mom.
Sean came back not too long ago. And it was a moment of a lifetime for young Donovan.
"I gave him a hug and then I was jumping on him and he was standing right there and he said, 'What are you doing, Donovan?'" recalled Donovan.
"It was hard to talk at first," said Sergeant Sean Sitek, Donovan's dad. "The first person I talked to was my son. Like he said, he ran up and jumped on me. I said hi and I love him. Pretty much telling each one of them I love them."
Now, Sean is back home, home for the holidays.
"I can't describe it," said Sean Sitek. "I missed last Thanksgiving and I missed several other ones, so I thank everybody that's helped me be able to be home. Thank God for it."
"It's a whole lot better. It's happier," said Twyla Sitek.
With two Marines as parents, Donovan is grateful for what they and other service members do.