NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- When Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico in September, it hit a military service member in Hampton Roads particularly hard, because his son was still on the island.

After the storm passed, Carlos Caraballomonini headed to Puerto Rico and witnessed firsthand the devastation. The Petty Officer-Second Class in the Navy waded through the island's ruins to reach Diego.

“You see people going crazy,” described Carabollomanini. “There was a guy that jumped one of the lines to get a bag of ice, and he got stabbed.”

Fearing for the 11-year-old’s safety, he made arrangements to bring his son back to Hampton Roads.

“I spoke to his mother and she said, 'Yes, bring him with you,'” he told 13News Now.

For the first time since Diego was the age of 4, Caraballomonini is a single, full-time parent, but he is not alone in the effort to raise his son.

13News Now met Caraballomonini at Norfolk International Airport when he arrived with his son Diego in tow.

It was there that we surprised him with the news that in honor of Military Dream Week, we’d give him $1,000 that he could use to kick-start his son's new life in Hampton Roads.