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People Are So Touched By This Dad Who Plays With His Little Boy Neighbor Every Day While His Dad Is Deployed

"It just means that much more that his father's gone."

Posted on June 20, 2017, at 8:39 p.m. ET

This is Brian, a 5-year-old from Illinois. His mom, Barbara Kelly, told BuzzFeed News that she and her husband are in the military. Her husband, who is in the Air Force, deployed overseas in May.

Barbara Kelly

Kelly said that one of her son's favorite things is working in the yard.

"He loves to do garden work," she said, adding that Brian has said he wants to be a "lawnmower man" when he grows up.

Luckily for Brian, his neighbor, Dean Cravens, can always use a helping hand. Brian has been going over to Cravens' house nearly every day asking if he can help.

Barbara Kelly
Barbara Kelly

Kelly said the bond between her son and her neighbor developed organically after Brian kept seeing Cravens out working on his yard.

"Everywhere [Cravens] turns around there's Brian," she said. "They just developed a friendship and bond."

Cravens' 16-year-old daughter, Molly, told BuzzFeed News her family has been touched by the friendship between the two as well.

"The fact that he started to cling on to my dad is just the sweetest thing," she said. "We love having Brian around and love seeing how happy they make each other."

Kelly said Cravens' kindness has been extra special to her as her husband has been away. So she was especially touched when, on Father's Day, Cravens came over to ask if he could spend some time with Brian.

Molly Cravens
Molly Cravens

In addition to the yard work, the duo also had fun playing sports like golf and basketball.

Molly Cravens
Molly Cravens

Kelly said she told Cravens he should spend some time with his three daughters, but he insisted.

"It was very, very sweet," she said. "[Cravens] really thinks and tries to make him feel good. It just means that much more that his father's gone."

Molly snapped some photos of the duo's day, and decided to post them to Twitter. She said she "thought it would be a good thing to remind what other people go through on Father's Day and Mother's Day."

This is our little neighbor. His dad is deployed in Syria and everyday he comes to the door asking to work with our…

"I wanted to show what Brian's dad and many other brave parents around the country sacrifice for our country," she said.

Many people were very touched by the story.

@Molly_Cravens17 God bless him and your father, this is so wonderful and makes my heart so happy ❤️

"God bless the surrogate father, neighbor. What a big heart great role model," one person said.

@Molly_Cravens17 God Bless the surrogate father, neighbor. What a big heart great role model😇👏

Molly said her dad is pretty blown away by the response.

Molly Cravens

"It's really sweet to see how so many people adore them and appreciate the situation," she said. "I didn't think it would be this popular, but I'm so incredibly happy our story is a hit and touches people's hearts."

Kelly agreed, saying it's "unbelievable" how many responses Molly's post has received.

"It's pretty amazing," she said.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.