Soldier Surprises Wife and Children at School After Long Deployment: 'I Can't Believe He's Here'
Staff Sgt. Gustavo Claudio surprised his wife Barbara and their kids at the Connecticut school where she teaches
A Connecticut mother and her children got the surprise of a lifetime this week.
After a months-long deployment, Staff Sgt. Gustavo Claudio decided to reveal his return to his wife, Barbara, and their two children in the sweetest way possible: showing up at the Enfield school where she teaches.
“Oh my God! Are you serious right now?” Barbara is heard yelling in sweet footage of the surprise.
Claudio ran down the stairs of the school lobby with a bouquet of flowers, embracing his children as Barbara jumped up and down excitedly. Barbara’s fellow teachers helped plan the surprise, according to TODAY.
“I’m so happy right now. I can’t even believe he’s here,” Barbara told reporters through tears. “This was our first deployment as a family. So, you know, we didn’t know what we were going to go through … I’m just so happy that he’s home.”
Claudio was gone for six months and has about a month of leave before returning to work as a firefighter in Hartford, WHEC reports.
“I was nervous at first, my heart was beating very fast,” he said, according to TODAY. “I was excited. I was trying to hold back my tears.”
During the assembly, students and teachers were shown applauding as the family reunited.
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Now, the family plans to spend time together and perhaps take a vacation, the couple said, according to WHEC.
School officials staged a phony assembly for the surprise, and planned to have a local news crew present for the sweet moment.
“Barb is a fabulous teacher and we love having her here, and we’ve just been so proud of how strong she’s been throughout this whole process, and how well she’s taken care of her children and the children here,” head of school Cliona Beaulieu told WVIT.
“So we wanted to do something special for her.”