In the touching video, Crystal is seen walking toward her son, who is standing at parade rest with his fellow Airmen.
It’s not until Crystal reaches toward her uniformed son that he finally relaxes and grabs his mom for a tight embrace.
According to AFWingMoms, this tradition is called “tapping out,” and it comes at the end of a graduation event.
“Tapping out” is the practice of Airmen or Guardians standing at attention until a designated loved one comes up and taps or hugs them.
This tradition allows Airmen to be released in an orderly fashion — and apparently, it makes for very emotional TikTok footage as well!
‘One of the most beautiful moments I have ever seen between a mother and her child…’
Thousands of TikTokers shared their emotional responses in the comments.
“I will finally get my hug in October! Will be five months and two days since I last hugged my baby and said ‘see ya later’ as he left for BMT!” one user shared.
“Instant tears, OMG! God bless and thank you!” another emotional user wrote.
“He could barely contain himself. He truly missed his mom. You could see it in the hug,” observed another TikToker.
“This is one of the most beautiful moments I have ever seen between a mother and her child,” one user remarked.
“Instant tears from another military mom,” commented another user.
“My son did this! Our hug lasted five minutes! We just held each other,” one user shared.
“Thank you for your service, soldiers! Welcome home. I wish I could hug every one of them,” commented another user.
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