Surprise homecoming: Oklahoma airman surprises daughter during 11th birthday party


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — A U.S. airman flew home from where he was stationed in Turkey to surprise his daughter for her 11th birthday party. 

“I had asked her this whole time, ‘What do you want for your birthday? What do you want for your birthday?’ And she’s like, ‘I want you. I want you to be home,'” MSgt. Gary Verdusco, who serves in the U.S. Air Force, said. 

Verdusco is talking about a big surprise he planned for his 11-year-old daughter, Isabella, last week. 

Verdusco spent the last year serving in Turkey.

Back here in Oklahoma, his ex-wife, Regina, and daughter, Isabella, both battled COVID-19 and then sustained injuries from a horrible car accident. 

“I was actually the most damaged in the car wreck,” Isabella said. 

Both Isabella and her sister were hospitalized while their dad was overseas. 

“It was pretty emotional. Because up until this point, I’ve only seen her through Facetime,” Verdusco said. 

Even during those Facetime calls, he still kept the big secret for months. 

“Even today, I texted her happy birthday and I was like, ‘Hey, I’ll call you tonight after your party,'” he said. 

Isabella was speechless during the big surprise at her party at Urban Air in Moore. Her dad surprised her after she finished playing a game with a friend. 

“At first, I didn’t recognize him. When I looked and gave him my control, I didn’t see his face. I just saw his shirt so I thought he worked. Then I walked and I was bragging to my friend how I won, and then she said turn around, and I looked at him and then I paused because I was shocked,” she said. 

“It was emotional for all of us,” Regina said. 

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