A National Guardsman’s surprise homecoming over the Easter weekend made for a special surprise for his two daughters, who had no idea of the “present” their mother had promised them.
As the two girls, Tawny, 7, and Brea, 5, wait outside their home with their mother, Brittany Gottke, in Blue Rock, Ohio, a firetruck blaring its sirens rounds the bend and pulls up in front of them. The girls, who aspire to be firefighters themselves one day, look quite impressed with the big red firetruck.
“Hey Tawny? You know how I said I was going to give you your Easter presents? You see who I brought you!” mom asks her older daughter, who missed her dad the most.
As a firefighter wearing a mask steps out of the truck, someone jokingly asks the girls, “Did you start that fire?”
The firefighter, who seems like he’s not in a rush to put out any “fire,” kneels in front of the girls and pulls off his mask.
“Daddy!” yells Tawny, who, with her sister, lunges at her father and holds him in a long embrace.
The girls’ father, Sergeant First Class Terry Gottke, was finally home after being stationed in Afghanistan for 364 days.
And the best part about this homecoming?
“Guess what, babies?” he asks his girls. “I don’t have to go back.”
Whilst Tawny and Brea had no idea their dad had planned to return home, the local community was informed, and they came out to celebrate his homecoming as well.
A digital street sign in Wayne Township reads, “Terry Gottke Wayne 1643, welcome home,” in honor of Gottke’s service.
But Gottke’s homecoming was most meaningful for his family, who’re glad he’s back safe and sound.
“We are happy he is home. The last year has been really tough. The girls will not let him out of their sight,” said Brittany, as reported by KTVU.
Explaining the reason behind the firefighter’s gear, Brittany Gottke wrote, “We are both members of Wayne township fire dept and the girls want to be firemen when they get older so it only seemed right to have him surprise them on the fire truck and in his gear.”
Enjoy the surprise homecoming below:
Soldier Surprises Family With Homecoming