While serving in Afghanistan thousands of miles from his daughter, Sgt. 1st Class Jamie A. McIntyre concocted a plan to surprise his little girl.
During phone and video calls, Sgt. McIntyre said, 5-year-old Jessie N. Montenegro-McIntyre would sing songs for him. Readying for another call home, he planned to turn the tables and sing something for her.
One problem: Sgt. McIntyre had never performed anything musical beyond singing in the shower.
I had the motivation of a sweet little girl at home, he told the Times during a phone call Thursday. Anythings possible.
The video of his performance has become a viral sensation since it was uploaded last weekend, being shared thousands of times on Facebook.
To turn his idea into reality, Sgt. McIntyre recruited a few other more musically inclined soldiers. The Brooklyn native performed the song with Lt. Robert Malloy, Staff Sgt. Anthony Torres and Pfc. Justin Bryson.
As soon as they saw a comrade in need of help, they came a-calling, Sgt. McIntyre said.
The four are members of the 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, stationed at Camp Clark in eastern Afghanistans Khost Province.
The group performed the song on a video chat, with Jessie and her mother watching from Watertown.
Sgt. McIntyre said the songs lyrics, telling her that things will be OK and that he will be coming home, echo the conversations theyve had over the years.
As she gets older, Sgt. McIntyre said, his daughter has come to better understand what his work entails, and the sacrifices hes made during his time in uniform.
His current deployment is the fifth of his career, and the third during his daughters life.
I just happened to sing to her like I talk to her, from the heart, Sgt. McIntyre said.
Since he initially posted the performance video to Facebook on March 29, it has been shared nearly 4,200 times, with comments coming in from around the country.
Sgt. McIntyre said he was surprised and happy with the attention the song has received, and he hoped people viewing the video would remember that he and other soldiers still are serving overseas.
Beyond the Internet fame, Sgt. McIntyre said, his daughters response was the most important to him.
I judge it by the smile on my little girls face, he said.
Video of Sgt. McIntyre and his friends singing his song can be found at http://wdt.me/McIntyre-song.