Soldier, wife give kids surprise homecoming
ATLANTA, Ga. (WHDH) -- A soldier and his wife created quite the surprise for their young children.
The boys were having a hard time with their dad gone in Afghanistan for nine straight months - so when Army Sergeant First Class Daryl Chandler came home from his first two week break - the couple knew they had to do something special.
"The boys have been taking this pretty hard,” said Chandler.
The boys, ages seven and three, were not at the airport with their mom and friends for their father's arrival.
Instead, Cathi and Daryl came up with a plan to surprise their boys.
Cathi told 7-year-old Cole and 3-year-old Eiden that they could enter a contest and the winner would get a visit from a power ranger.
Cathi Chandler said Cole’s entry read, “I should have a super hero come to my class because I've been stressed out lately and my Dad is at war in Afghanistan. If the Red Ranger came to my class, it would make my day. And he won."
Of course there was only one entry in the contest -- and Cathi was the judge.
"He knows where his stress is coming from. He knows that what he's doing as a military kid is a hard job. Whenever he touches that it makes me as a Mom so much more compassionate for him and all the struggles that he's going through,” said Chandler of her son.
Cole was surprised and excited when he found out that he won - and the power ranger showed up. He soon found out who the super hero was, underneath the power ranger's mask.
"Dad!” he exclaimed.
Army Sergeant First Class Daryl Chandler and Cathi Chandler know that someday the boys will understand that what their parents hope they are giving them is bigger than a surprise homecoming - that their sacrifice and service is giving them their future.
"What you do for your country, knowing hopefully that what I'm doing here today, that someday they hopefully won't have to go through, and to give them a better life for it. That's what I do it for,” said Army Sergeant First Class Daryl Chandler.