Soldier came up with an epic plan for a homecoming surprise after a year-long deployment

Odette Odendaal
Oct 03, 2018
12:25 P.M.

Sgt. First Class Terry Gottke’s daughters haven’t seen their father in a year due to his deployment in Afghanistan, and he wants to surprise them with his homecoming.


After returning from serving the National Guard in Afghanistan, Gottke planned a surprise for his daughters once he got home in Blue Rock, Ohio. Gottke and his wife Brittany are both firefighters, with Gottke having served in the National Guard for 14 years.


His wife, Brittany had already greeted Gottke earlier that day upon his arrival and together planned to give their daughters a surprise.

Gottke got dressed up in full fireman gear at the fire station and fellow firefighters drove him home with sirens blazing. From their family home Brittany and their two daughters, Tawny 7 and Brea 5, could hear the approaching sirens. Adding to the surprise build up Brittany asked the girls whether they got the firefighters called on them.

Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa.


Tawny and Brea were shocked when the firetruck stopped at their home. With the lights and sirens still going Gottke stepped out of the truck in full-on gear in order for the girls not to recognize them.

With his approach towards them, they sensed something was going on, slowly breaking out in smiles which turned into happy emotional tears after taking his mask and headgear off, and Tawny and exclaimed: “Daddy!”

Both girls jumped into their father's arms, crying and hugging their father, elated to see him. A blessed Easter weekend for them as they welcome their father home.


Brittany said:

“We are happy he is home. The last year has been really tough. The girls will not let him out of their sight.”

Gottke’s previous deployment was in 2010 in Iraq, only nine weeks after their second daughter’s birth.

Posted on Facebook on Saturday it gained a quick following with over 272,000 views 3 days later.


Videos posted of parents sharing these experiences warms the heart because we know it’s difficult for those families, and the sacrifice the soldiers make to serve their country. Fathers spend long periods of time away in other countries, not being home to experience what happens in their family lives, and for them, it’s difficult to be without their father and husband.

Source: Freepik

Source: Freepik


Another deployed father wanted to surprise his children after coming back home when he arranged a surprise for his sons at Monday’s Cleveland Indians game. Sasha and Jonah went on stage thinking they would play a game ‘Deal or NO Deal’ between innings.

U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Tim Lieb appeared on the video board as the announcer directed Sasha’s attention to it. Lieb had a message for his sons, and advice on how to win money in the ‘Deal or No Deal’ game, telling Sasha to pick the letter K. Taking his dad’s suggestion Sasha picked the ‘K’ to take off the board, then picked the ‘Y’ to see the prize, inside was a sign that stated: “I’m home!!”

When the boys turn around their father is standing right in front of them. Lieb hugged his sons followed by a loud applause from the crowd.

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