A military dad pulled off a heartwarming surprise reunion for his daughter during her end-of-day presentation at Reagan Middle School in Dixon, Illinois.
The cleverly planned event saw Charlie Trader, 12, speak to her classmates about her father’s deployment and work in the military, not knowing that he was actually just a few doors down.
Being away from home on his third deployment to Guam as Air National Guard, Tech Sergeant Seth Wiggins, 35, had missed his daughter’s first musical, her basketball season and birthday for the first time.
He wanted to surprise his daughter in a unique way and contacted Charlie’s school, asking if they could help him plan a surprise reunion for her.
That was when Charlie’s teacher and principal suggested they create a faux presentation for the 12-year-old, which would allow her to talk about her father’s military career.
On March 6, Charlie spoke about her father’s deployment and work in front of her classmates, while her dad watches on, pretending to be overseas and when it was time to open the presentation up to questions for Seth, the call suddenly “disconnected.” Meanwhile Charlie continues her presentation hoping that her dad would rejoin, but what she did not know was her dad was right around the corner.
By this time, Seth, who had cleared out a nearby room, had made his way through the halls of the school, eventually reaching Charlie’s classroom for the big surprise.
As soon as Charlie saw her father, she burst into happy tears and made her way through the middle of her classmates for an emotional hug with her father. The heartwarming surprise reunion left everyone in the room feeling emotional and was cheered on.
The surprise emotional reunion has since gone viral on social media, with many people touched by the loving moment between the father and daughter.
“We are best friends, we are very close, so even just two and a half, three months away was hard on both of us. So that hug is kind of the first point that I realized like, okay, I’m home, I’ve got my daughter back, this is good, ” Wiggins said.
In addition to honoring serving and veteran members of the military for their service, Wiggins hopes that people would also be grateful and appreciate the sacrifices made by members of their family, especially the military kids.