Father surprises children at school following nine-month deployment in Middle East; see the reaction


The Livingston Parish News

WALKER, La. (The Livingston Parish News) – A father who was deployed overseas for nine months gave his children an unforgettable surprise just before the weekend.

Gerard Berthelot, a Black Hawk helicopter pilot for the U.S. Army, made surprise visits to his children on Friday, Jan. 10.

Berthelot — who spent time in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait during his recent tour of duty — arrived at Fort Hood, Texas, earlier Friday morning before making the eight-hour drive to Walker.

Once in Walker, he first visited his daughter Kaylee, an eighth-grader at North Corbin Junior High. An unsuspecting Kaylee — who led her school’s Veterans Day program while her father was deployed — covered her mouth once Berthelot walked through the door before wrapping her arms around her father.

The school posted a video of Berthelot’s surprise visit on its Facebook page, adding the caption, “There wasn’t a dry eye to be found.”

After checking Kaylee out of school, Berthelot’s next trip was to Walker High, where he surprised his son, Blaze, a junior.

Berthelot also got to meet his foreign exchange daughter, Emma Steinhoff from Germany, for the first time.

Berthelot has served in the U.S. Army since 2003. Before that, he also spent time in the U.S. Air Force.

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