Airman Surprises Daughter with His Return

By: Dontaye Carter Email
By: Dontaye Carter Email

Valdosta, GA -- March 29, 2011 --

"Daddy!"

It didn't take 7-year-old Heaven Gibson long to see who was sitting in her seat.

Her father, Staff Sergeant Jarrod Gibson has been in Afghanistan for the past 6 months and getting this surprise left Heaven nearly speechless.

"Excited," said Heaven.

Reporter: "I saw you drop your books down and run over to him what was the first thing that crossed your mind?. "

"Him," said the 7-Year-Old as she points to her father.

The two spoke everyday on the phone while Gibson was away.

Heaven says she checked on her daddy all the time.

"I asked my mom if he was ok and she said it's ok and I believed her," said Heaven.

But the 7-year-old wasn't the only one who got emotional.

Gibson planned his daughter's surprise but says his heart skipped a beat when he saw her.

"Very emotional. A lot of emotion, emotion that I haven't felt in six months," said Gibson.

Reporter: "How does it feel to have her back in your arms?"

"Very good, very fulfilling, something I've been missing for awhile," said the Airman.

Mom stayed off to the side to let the two have their moment and it's clear while daddy's home, Heaven will be daddy's girl.

Heaven's mom kept the entire surprise a secret from her daughter.

She says it wasn't easy, but seeing the father and daughter reunite is priceless.

Heaven says she's looking forward to playing a lot of Candy Land with her dad.


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  • by Paula Location: Tallahassee on Mar 30, 2011 at 10:14 AM
    Reply to American: Kirk is an idiot, but you are the epitomy of ignorance. The president and first lady are two of the most dedicated Military supporters in this country. I didn't vote for the man but I can stand bold and give him his due. Ignorance is not bliss, it's just ignorance.
  • by R on Mar 30, 2011 at 09:36 AM
    Thank You SSgt Gibson for all that you do. God bless you & your family. Not only you though, but all of the other military families in the United States. Cant Imagine how happy you or little Heaven is for you to be home.
  • by Jim Yeary Location: Jones-Vegas on Mar 30, 2011 at 07:42 AM
    I will not re-state the obvious. L-Rod, you are my brother and my hero. Did somebody mention that THIS soldier is on his 4th deployment to the middle-east? Or that he has spent half of his daughters life sleeping on the other side of the world? I appreciate and respect your scarifice....AND that of your family. God Bless You. He has blessed me by allowing me the honor to have been a part of your life. It did my heart good to see Heaven's face lit up.
  • by Jennifer Location: Valdosta on Mar 30, 2011 at 07:24 AM
    As someone who was in the room when Heaven walked it, I can tell you there wasn't a dry eye in the room! What was even better, when the children thanked Jarrod for what he does each and every day for this great country! Just so you know, this was a welcomed interruption! And we'd do it again and again!
  • by Lip Cheese on Mar 30, 2011 at 07:05 AM
    Oh my gosh, my crusty old heart melted. Thank you sir for your service.
  • by tiffie Location: ft bragg on Mar 30, 2011 at 06:39 AM
    Jarrod I am so glad you are home safe. The story brought me to tears. I remember going through pleanty of deployments and they are so hard and different each time,especially for the kids but it is the most sweetest moment when you get to hold your loved one again. Hopefully me and the girls will get to see you guys soon. Love you guys!
  • by Can't Imaginq on Mar 30, 2011 at 06:31 AM
    I am so happy to have my 6yo in my arms after she spends the night somewhere. I can't imagine 6 months without that feeling and how magical it must have been for both of them. Congrats to the both of you. You have a lot of catching up to do. Enjoy it!!!
  • by sarah on Mar 30, 2011 at 06:15 AM
    So sweet what he did for his daughter!! :) Wish we had more parents like you in our world. Thank you for your dedication to our country and helping keep us safe.
  • by army vet on Mar 30, 2011 at 05:32 AM
    OBVIOUS KIRK HAS NEVER BEEN A SOLDIER OR MUCH OF ANY THING ELSE PROBABLY DONT EVEN PAY TAKES
  • by Anonymous on Mar 30, 2011 at 05:30 AM
    Kirk the jerk, Kirk the jerk, Kirk the jerk.
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