Military dad surprises daughter at gymnastics competition

Military dad surprises daughter at gymnastics competition
Claudine Zap

Leave it to someone with military training to execute such a successful and well-planned mission.

Maj. Jake Brittingham had been stationed in Africa for the past five months, and he's been badly missed by his daughter Emma. So to surprise her, he showed up at her first gymnastics competition. Luckily, the moment was captured on video.

Dad came home early, arrived at the gym and hid. Operation Surprise Emma was a go.

With mom Kelley and older sister Erin in the audience, the announcer asks 9-year-old Emma, “If you had one wish today, what would it be?”

“That my dad could be here,” she answers.

“Really? How about you turn around?” the announcer says to gasps in the crowd as Emma’s father appears behind her. A joyful Emma gets a huge hug from her dad.

“I just couldn’t even believe he was here,” she says.

Her mom, when she posted a video of the surprise reunion, wrote, "We had NO idea Daddy came home early to surprise Emma at her first Level 7 meet! Thank goodness the news was there to capture the whole thing!"

“It was exactly what I was hoping it would be,” says Maj. Brittingham.

Mission very accomplished.