Tomorrow marks five years since Isabella and Elizabeth Rios lost their father, Army Pfc. Gustavo Rios-Ordonez who was killed in combat serving in Afghanistan on June 20, 2011.

Each year since their dad’s death, the young girls have written messages to their dad on three balloons. They then release them from their town of Eaton, Ohio with their mom, Tiffani on Gustavo’s birthday. The fallen vet would have turned 30 on May 25.

This year was different from years past because one of the balloons they released was found — about 850 miles away in Newton, Massachusetts.

Heidi Kern Schwartz found the balloon on June 7.

“I love you and miss you daddy,” signed Elizabeth, the yellow balloon read.

Schwartz posted about her find on Facebook which garnered more than 69,000 shares. She was able to figure out who the balloon belonged to after the Eaton VFW 8066’s Facebook page also shared her post.

According to comments on the post, Elizabeth and Isabella’s grandmother saw the shared post and told her granddaughters about it. She says they believe their dad returned the balloon to tell them that he misses and loves them.

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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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