Video: Military Dad Returns From Overseas To Surprise Daughter

Andrew Greenstein
October 31, 2018 - 12:12 pm
Military Surprise

Credit: Andrew Greenstein, 1080 KRLD

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FORT WORTH (1080 KRLD) - It was a very special surprise for a little Fort Worth girl.

Steve Philpot is a captain in the Army National Guard, and he had been gone for a long time. “I've been gone since January,” Capt. Philpot said. “ I was deployed to Sinai, Egypt, for a peacekeeping mission.”

And that meant being away from his wife Tisha and their four-year-old daughter Emma.

Tisha says her husband’s long deployment has been tough on Emma. “We have what's called a daddy doll,” Tisha says. “It’s a little stuffed doll that has his picture on him. And that company is a lifesaver for military children. He went everywhere with us and that little doll saved our lives.”

Through it all, Emma had one big concern.

“Her major concern was he was going to miss her birthday,” Tisha said. “That was really the only thing she cared about. Every night she would say, ‘Is he going to be home for my birthday? Is he going to be home for my birthday?’ And we had to keep telling her, ‘We don't know. We don't know.’”

This morning at Nance Elementary School in far north Fort Worth, the kids gathered for an assembly in the school gym. That’s when Principal Penny Bowles brought out Capt. Philpot in front of the whole school.

Emma leaped into her father’s arms, and she clung on tight to him for several minutes. 

Capt. Philpot says the reunion was as special for him as it was for his daughter. “It was emotional for me,” says Philpot. “She’s our little princess, and she’s kind of got me wrapped around her finger.”

Philpot says he was a little nervous before the big reunion. “It’s different doing FaceTime versus in person, so I was a little bit jittery,” he says.

As for Emma’s main concern about her dad missing her birthday — she can now stop worrying. “My birthday is Friday (and) her birthday is on the 18th,” he says. “So I get to be home and celebrate both my and her birthday together.”