Faculty members at a school in Enfield, Connecticut, helped an airman surprise his wife and children after he returned from a six-month-long deployment in Kuwait.
Barbara Claudio is a teacher at Enfield Montessori School in Enfield and her 2-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son are students there.
The school planned a fake assembly in order to get the unsuspecting teacher and her children in the same room. During one of the performances, Claudio and her kids were called upon to participate in the made-up presentation.
That's when Barbara’s husband, Gustavo Claudio, an airman with the Connecticut Air National Guard, came out and surprised them.
"Oh my God! Oh, my God!" Barbara Claudio shrieked in disbelief. "Are you kidding me right now."
She said this was her husband's first deployment for the family and wasn't sure what to expect or what they might have to endure.
"We just went with it," Claudio said. "I’m just so happy that he’s home. I can’t even thank them enough...I can’t even believe he’s here.”
Gustava Claudio said he was nervous about the surprise and fought back tears at the sight of his family. The airman is just happy to be home and spend time with his family, perhaps even take a vacation together.
"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," said Cliona Beaulieu, EMS head of school. “So we wanted to do something special for her."
Gustavo Claudio is also a firefighter in Hartford and has about a month of leave before he returns to work.