It's been said that nothing is more important in keeping a family strong than eating dinner together every night. But what if dad is in the military, thousands of miles away on deployment?
When Sarah Smiley's husband Navy Lt. Commander Dustin Smiley left for a year-long deployment in December 2011, she invited her community to step up and fill the empty seat at the family table. And step up they did. From school teachers, to a U.S. Senator - ordinary and extraordinary folks came by the Smiley house each week to keep the family dinner going until dad makes it home in December 2012.
Sarah Smiley documented her remarkable effort on Facebook, and on her own website. She also put together this video of the 52-week Smiley family dinner with the help of photographer Andrea Hand, and posted it on YouTube. (In case you're wondering, the haunting song in the video is Josh Ritter's "Change of Time.")
Get your Kleenex ready: