Airman surprises family at Duke High School

DUKE, OK (RNN Texoma) -A very special gift for a mom and her three kids just ahead of Mother's Day.

The family got a big surprise from an airman from the United States Air Force who unexpectedly showed up to surprise his wife and children at an event on Thursday at Duke High School.

The town of Duke and Duke Public Schools have been working on this surprise for a few weeks. They teamed up with Survival Flight from the Jackson County Memorial Hospital for a mock texting and driving skit for high school students. On board was Tech Sergeant Anthony Fridley, his kids were in the audience, and his wife was taking pictures for the school, but his family didn't know Fridley was on the chopper until he stepped out of it. The rest was priceless!

For the first time in 7 months Sergeant Anthony Fridley was reunited with his wife Bud and their three kids Riley, Reese, and Tegan.

"I was in shock! I was like Oh..this is not the normal attire and quickly I realized it was my husband," said Fridley's wife Bud.

"I was like wait a minute is that really my dad. I didn't know what to say, I saw my sister running and then I just ran and then I knew it was my dad," said Fridley's daughter Tegan.

A moment they will never forget.

"Oh it's awesome I mean I couldn't ask for anything better than to just hug them all and be close," Sgt. Fridley said.

Sgt. Fridley has been stationed in Iraq for the last 7 months and said it feels good to finally be home.

" I was blessed to be able to Facetime and communication with them, but still it's always tough not being in close contact and to be able to hug them and be around them," Sgt. Fridley said.

His daughter Reese said it was blessing.

"Thank you...Jesus! I prayed last night to see if I can see him soon and he actually answered me," said Fridley's daughter Reese.

Friends were also excited about the surprise.

"When I saw Reese just shocked like that it just made me cry and I was just so happy for them and her family. I'm glad that he is home," said Alyssa Keck.

It's something school leaders have been working on for weeks with Survival Flight who wanted to come to the school to perform a mock crash for students.

"Divine intervention came along. We found out that Anthony was going to be coming home soon and we were all able to coordinate together his arrival with their schedule and the kids' schedule so it worked perfect," said School Counselor Monica Claussen.

"This town is amazing! It's like family, I don't have words...I'm still in shock wow," said Fridley.

The Fridley's said they are going to spend time with each other soaking up memories along with lots of hugs and pictures. Fridley was on a special assignment in Iraq, but now he will be at home with his family for good.

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