Mom of Marine holding baby in viral photo says it was relief to see his smiling face

NEW YORK -- Amid the tragedy and chaos out of Afghanistan came a heartwarming photograph that has gone viral for the tender way a U.S. Marine is seen caring for a baby.

The Marine in that photo is Sgt. Matthew Jaffe, and he is the son of Meryl Jaffe, a stage manager at our sister station WABC-TV.

During the crisis, Meryl has been fortunate enough to keep in touch with her son and make sure he is safe.

She bravely shared that he was not injured in Thursday's Kabul airport attack that left a dozen U.S. service members dead.

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People who were caring for the baby in the photograph asked Matthew to keep holding him because his smile was giving the baby a lasting moment of joy during the crisis.

Meryl says that smiling is her son's "superpower."

"In just seeing that moment that ... even though I'm sure there is chaos around him, he saw that baby needed something to make him laugh and to feel, I guess, secure," Meryl Jaffe said.

Meryl wants all military families to know they are not alone and there is support for families with loved ones serving our country in dangerous locations.

The infant in the photo with Matthew has since been reunited with his father.

Our thoughts are with Meryl, Matthew and all of the U.S. service members still deployed.
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