BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (FOX 9) - A military father is finally back with his family tonight after surprising his two young daughters Wednesday.
Minnesota Army National Guard Captain Steven Guptill read a part of a letter to his 8-year-old daughter Olivia that she recently wrote to Santa.
“I really want you to bring my daddy home for Christmas,” the letter said.
Separated from his wife and two children for the past 9 months, Guptil, who is part of the 347th Regional Support group, has been serving in Kuwait.
“We wanted the opportunity to make this a very special Christmas,” Guptil said Wednesday.
Olivia, 5-year-old Kaitlyn and their mother Becca Guptil arrived at the Santa Experience at the Mall of America Wednesday. Santa asked the girls what they would like for Christmas and, of course, they asked for their dad to come home.
After a few pictures, Santa headed into a back room to find Guptil patiently waiting.
The captain says that he wanted to show his daughters that dreams really do come true.
“Santa sent me home for Christmas like you asked,” the captain told his girls.
“I am just so happy that my dad is home,” Kaitlyn said.
“I’m really…I don’t know…I’m just really happy,” Olivia added.
It was an emotional, long-awaited reunion between a father and his daughters. For the Guptils, this Christmas will be one to remember.
“It’s incredible,” Guptil said. “Better than I imagined even. These girls are growing up, they’re changing so much just in the last nine months.”
“It’s about family,” said Becca Guptil. “It’s about being with the people that you love and that you cherish and just being grateful.”