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Girl Opens Birthday Present, Finds Soldier Stepdad Inside
KIRO TV NEWS ^ | 3-19-2008

Posted on 03/19/2008 12:13:49 PM PDT by Cagey

SANFORD, Mich. -- At her seventh birthday party, Amber Birdsall thought the huge gift box wrapped in pink paper likely hid a pair of bicycles.

She was wrong. Inside was something she wanted even more -- her stepfather, a soldier who had been deployed overseas.

"This is way better than bikes," Amber said.

The surprise began a few weeks ago when Amber told her inquiring mother that all she wanted for her birthday was to have her stepfather return home from serving 10 months in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Her mother, Trisha Johnson, 34, relayed Amber's wish to her 39-year-old husband the same day that the girl expressed it. Army Spc. Glenn Johnson immediately started on the paperwork, not expecting his request for a leave to be granted because he is scheduled to come home for good in June.

Much to their surprise, his request for more than a week of leave was granted.

The soldier's flight arrived in Flint, Mich., early Sunday afternoon and he was whisked away to Northern Lanes Recreation, a bowling alley in Sanford where his stepdaughter's birthday party was taking place.

Northern Lanes employees were in on the ruse and kept him hidden in the bar.

When Amber and her 9-year-old sister, Kathy Birdsall, opened a colorfully wrapped refrigerator box, Glenn Johnson was inside.

In addition to spending a lot of time at home with his family, Glenn Johnson and his wife planned a late celebration of their five-year wedding anniversary, which was on Valentine's Day.

"I told her she needs to get a baby sitter and a new outfit," he said. "I'll take care of the rest."


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Michigan; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: army; happybirthday; military
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1 posted on 03/19/2008 12:13:50 PM PDT by Cagey
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To: Cagey

I was relieved to read past the headline and learn that the stepfather was still alive.


2 posted on 03/19/2008 12:16:04 PM PDT by murdoog
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To: Cagey

What a heart-warming story! Love it!


3 posted on 03/19/2008 12:16:10 PM PDT by Chili Girl
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To: Cagey
Northern Lanes employees were in on the ruse and kept him hidden in the bar.

That's where I hide on the weekends too...
4 posted on 03/19/2008 12:16:37 PM PDT by steel_resolve (If you can't stand behind our troops, then please stand in front...)
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To: Cagey

Thank heavens he didn’t hide in a piñata.


5 posted on 03/19/2008 12:17:05 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~~~***Just say NO to the "O"***~~~)
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To: Cagey

Awwwwwwwwww.....[wiping away tear]


6 posted on 03/19/2008 12:17:38 PM PDT by Froufrou
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7 posted on 03/19/2008 12:17:42 PM PDT by Cagey
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To: murdoog

>>I was relieved to read past the headline and learn that the stepfather was still alive.<<

I’m so glad I wasn’t the only person to think that...


8 posted on 03/19/2008 12:18:16 PM PDT by gondramB (Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.)
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To: steel_resolve

“Usually one must go to a bowling alley to meet someone of your stature...”


9 posted on 03/19/2008 12:18:51 PM PDT by Froufrou
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To: Cagey

“I told her she needs to get a baby sitter and a new outfit,” he said. “I’ll take care of the rest.”

Hot Dang, now there’s a MAN!! OOOh, and a good daddy too... congratulations to this little girl’s mother on finding such a wonderful man for her family. Welcome home, Soldier!


10 posted on 03/19/2008 12:19:50 PM PDT by dandelion
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To: Froufrou

LOL!

And, I always thought it was Roller Rinks.


11 posted on 03/19/2008 12:20:37 PM PDT by Cagey
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To: RedRover

Supplies!

Cool.


12 posted on 03/19/2008 12:20:48 PM PDT by lilycicero (www.defendourmarines.org)
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To: Cagey

We need more these types of stories.


13 posted on 03/19/2008 12:21:07 PM PDT by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: dandelion

We, this nation half full of democrat liberals constantly trashing the honorable military, don’t deserve these men ...


14 posted on 03/19/2008 12:23:51 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: lilylangtree

This story may be on the Today show.

http://www.ourmidland.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19401443&BRD=2289&PAG=461&dept_id=472542&rfi=6


15 posted on 03/19/2008 12:24:49 PM PDT by Cagey
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To: Cagey

Good job soldier!


16 posted on 03/19/2008 12:26:36 PM PDT by Niteranger68 (Where are they hiding Obamas white half?)
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To: murdoog

Is there a video link to this great story?


17 posted on 03/19/2008 12:26:36 PM PDT by Rottweilerson (If you want a friend...Feed any animal.)
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To: Cagey
The writer is a waskley wabbit. You get perfectly sucked in to think that the father in the pink box is passed:

[She was wrong. Inside was something she wanted even more -- her stepfather, a soldier who had been deployed overseas.

"This is way better than bikes," Amber said.]

The Waskley wabbit writer has us thinking that there's something horribly "Amiss with Amber." ;-)

Great story. Thanks for sharing it, Cagey. :-)

18 posted on 03/19/2008 12:27:11 PM PDT by Miss Behave (Beloved daughter of Miss Creant, super sister of danged Miss Ology, and proud mother of Miss Hap.)
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To: Cagey

I hate stories like this. The monitor always seems to get defective


19 posted on 03/19/2008 12:28:38 PM PDT by cyclotic (Support Scouting-Raising boys to be men, and politically incorrect at the same time.)
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To: Cagey

Great story!


20 posted on 03/19/2008 12:28:42 PM PDT by 7thson (I've got a seat at the big conference table! I'm gonna paint my logo on it!)
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To: Cagey

21 posted on 03/19/2008 12:30:10 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (When you choose the lesser of two evils, you still have evil.)
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To: Cagey

I would love to read a story on here and “NOT” here the words democrats, Clinton, Osama-Bama, McCain, mentioned.......................period


22 posted on 03/19/2008 12:30:46 PM PDT by Wavrnr10 (Eagles soar but weasels don't get sucked in jet engines)
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To: murdoog

Perhaps the media is right, we may have overstayed our welcome.


23 posted on 03/19/2008 12:34:28 PM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: lilycicero; RedRover; jazusamo; xzins; Girlene; freema; darrylsharratt; Shelayne; Lancey Howard; ...
Y'all will like this: Very well done!
24 posted on 03/19/2008 12:36:15 PM PDT by brityank (The more I learn about the Constitution, the more I realise this Government is UNconstitutional !!)
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To: Cagey

Beautiful


25 posted on 03/19/2008 12:36:17 PM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: cyclotic

Well then, here’s a handy screen cleaner:

http://www.sillyhumor.com/screenclean/index.html


26 posted on 03/19/2008 12:36:58 PM PDT by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: Cagey

27 posted on 03/19/2008 12:37:02 PM PDT by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: gondramB

Ditto.


28 posted on 03/19/2008 12:38:00 PM PDT by TheZMan (I'm going to write my own name on the ballot. Screw the current crop of "conservatives".)
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To: the_devils_advocate_666

Better Than Bikes.


29 posted on 03/19/2008 12:38:14 PM PDT by Miss Behave (Beloved daughter of Miss Creant, super sister of danged Miss Ology, and proud mother of Miss Hap.)
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To: Cagey

just pure joy.....


30 posted on 03/19/2008 12:38:20 PM PDT by mockingbyrd (peace begins in the womb)
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To: Cagey

Beautiful!


31 posted on 03/19/2008 12:39:03 PM PDT by EternalVigilance ("We're surrounded by screeching McPod people." - Don Joe)
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To: Cagey

What a heart-warming story. Thanks for posting it.


32 posted on 03/19/2008 12:39:15 PM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: cyclotic

I can’t get mine to clear up either. ;-p


33 posted on 03/19/2008 12:45:05 PM PDT by spotbust1 (Procrastinators of the world unite . . . . .tomorrow!!!)
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To: Cagey; brityank

Great story, great pics! Thank you both.


34 posted on 03/19/2008 12:46:31 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: spotbust1

A touching story! Prayers for their continued happiness.


35 posted on 03/19/2008 12:48:56 PM PDT by catbertz
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To: Cagey

What a heart-warming story!


36 posted on 03/19/2008 12:51:31 PM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: the_devils_advocate_666

Picture of the year.


37 posted on 03/19/2008 12:53:35 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
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To: Old Professer
. . .we may have overstayed our welcome.

While it is likely true that the 'new Castro' probably really doesn't want us there, I suspect the Cuban people find it reassuring in many respects.

38 posted on 03/19/2008 12:53:50 PM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: Cailleach

ping


39 posted on 03/19/2008 12:57:04 PM PDT by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we write in marble. JHuett)
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To: Cagey

**
U

Thanks for making my day!


40 posted on 03/19/2008 12:57:31 PM PDT by 444Flyer (The decent to hell is easy,and those who begin by worshipping power soon worship evil-C.S.Lewis)
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To: murdoog
"I was relieved to read past the headline and learn that the stepfather was still alive."

LOL Same here.

41 posted on 03/19/2008 12:57:39 PM PDT by KoRn (CTHULHU '08 - I won't settle for a lesser evil any longer!)
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To: lilylangtree
We need more these types of stories.

There are so many. I'm fortunate to know a lot of them personally.

Like the female Army Major here who has four little girls at home with her husband. She got her leave right at Christmas. She didn't tell her girls...she surprised them on Christmas Eve.

And the Lt. Col. I work with who went home on his leave and surprised his teenage daughter at her track meet. He and his wife had kept it secret that he was coming home.

I could go on and on and I get choked up every time one of them tells me one of these stories.

42 posted on 03/19/2008 1:00:45 PM PDT by Allegra (Posting without being logged on since 2001)
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To: Saoirise; USMC Brat; Drango; Syncro

Ping.:)


43 posted on 03/19/2008 1:00:47 PM PDT by 444Flyer (The decent to hell is easy,and those who begin by worshipping power soon worship evil-C.S.Lewis)
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To: Cagey; Chili Girl; steel_resolve; fieldmarshaldj; Froufrou; gondramB; dandelion; lilycicero; ...

Very nice story, thanks for posting it.

This one from last year still tears me up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kerMm0HG1mk


44 posted on 03/19/2008 1:02:06 PM PDT by RabidBartender
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To: Allegra

A friend of mine has a great story. The crux of it was that he got to come home a couple weeks early and got to surprise his little girls when they came home from school. He tried to surprise his wife but she noticed he used a credit card the day before he arrived home and realized he was in the States.


45 posted on 03/19/2008 1:05:00 PM PDT by cyclotic (Support Scouting-Raising boys to be men, and politically incorrect at the same time.)
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To: MEGoody

If there were ever a country ripe for nation-building with a virtual army of repatriates, skilled, wealthy and rarin’ to go, Cuba is it.


46 posted on 03/19/2008 1:09:14 PM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: RabidBartender

That did something to me. That little boy understands all too well already what it means to be a man. So sad.


47 posted on 03/19/2008 1:09:32 PM PDT by Froufrou
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To: RabidBartender
This one from last year still tears me up:

Great, now I feel like a fag, because I watched that and I totally teared up. I was far too young to remember my father returning from Vietnam, but I hope I reacted like this little boy did.

Recently I had the great honor of watching my brother return home from Iraq . . . and seeing his wife & daughters run out on the tarmac to join him at his F/A-18 was, as the commercial says, priceless.

Thanks for posting the link to this vid. Go Navy.

48 posted on 03/19/2008 1:10:29 PM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: RabidBartender

Thanks! I remember that one well, it’s very touching.


49 posted on 03/19/2008 1:10:50 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: brityank

Awwwwwww. How sweet.


50 posted on 03/19/2008 1:15:26 PM PDT by Girlene
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