Fact Check: Happy homecoming of US Marines shared as teary farewell of Ukrainian soldiers amidst the invasion

Amid the Russian invasion, an emotional video of Ukrainian soldiers bidding farewell to loved ones before leaving for war was widely shared on social media. But it was later proved to be a movie scene and not a real incident. A similar video is in circulation again in which a soldier weeps while bidding farewell to his baby and wife.

"Ukraine soldiers going to war emotional," the header text on the video read.

India Today Anti-Fake News War room (AFWA) found the claim to be false. The man in the video is a US Marine who reunited with his family after a tour in 2018. This video is unrelated to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

AFWA Probe

With the help of the InVID tool and reverse image searches, we have found the same scenes from the viral clip matched with an Instagram post and a YouTube video.

The Instagram page of Today's Woman Magazine had uploaded the same video on October 31, 2018.

"This is so touching. A priceless moment when this Marine meets his newborn son for the first time," the post was captioned.

A longer version of the clip is available on the YouTube channel of Francis Crespo. Uploaded on August 12, 2018, the video was titled "Marine meets his son for the first time".

"Such a magical day (August 3, 2018)," the description below the video liked by over a lakh people read.

Since the video was available in 2018, it is unrelated to the ongoing invasion that began on February 24, 2022.

A closer examination confirmed that the badge on the left chest of the man in the video read "US Marines".

Pursuing this clue, we ran a keyword search on Google. The results confirmed that the video was from the USA. We found several news reports from 2018 that carried screenshots from the video.

According to these reports, the video was shot at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The man in the video is Corporal Brandon Crespo, who returned after a six-month tour. His son Noah was born on June 13, 2018, while Brandon was in the line of duty. His wife decided to document the first meeting of the father and son and later released it on YouTube -- which became an instant hit.We learnt that the YouTube channel we checked earlier belonged to Brandon's wife, Francis Crespo. Hence, it is safe to believe that the video was filmed on August 3, 2018.

After the video went viral on the internet, the couple got invited to the popular US television programme "The Ellen Show" hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. The segment with the couple was shared on Ellen's official Facebook page on October 13, 2018.

Thus, we can conclude that the viral clip being shared has no connection with the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. It is a moment of happy reunion filmed by a US family in 2018 that is now shared as an instance of goodbye.

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