TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__It may be months away, but Christmas came early for one family visiting the pumpkin patch Sunday afternoon.
What started out as a fun filled trip to Gary's Berries became a memory one family will never forget. Engineering Aide Wayne Page of the Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 15, had been on a six month deployment to Afghanistan. With the help of his wife Chris, he surprised his kids who thought they had been randomly selected to participate in the pig race.
His family members were not the only ones glad to see him back on American soil, Page said he was ready to see his family as well.
"Just great to be back home and cant wait to get back into family life and living with the family again." stated Wayne Page.
This special day is something the Page kids and others involved will always remember. Those who helped make the reunion possible couldn't have been more honored.
"This is something that's very near and dear to me. I know what it's like to not have a father around for a while, something personal in my life. But to be able to share in the enjoyment of seeing the kids and being able to know that he came home safely, that's awesome." Shared owner of Gary's Berries Gary Starr.
The surprise reunion almost didn't happen. As with any deployment there is no guarantee you will come home as planned.
"We were afraid he wasn't going to be able to make it today. So we were all bummed thinking it wasn't going to work , and really just the last couple of days we found out he would be here in time, so we threw everything together really fast." Said family friend Amy Boyles.
Page had to sneak in and hide out behind the pig shed before the races started. The stench is something he will not miss, but the sweet prize at the end is something he says he will cherish forever.
" It smelled somewhat like the country over there. There are so many portajohns over there. With the pigs there it just reminded me a lot of being back over there." Said Page.
Children Hannah and Isaac are happy to have their dad home and look forward to spending another Christmas with him.