Kylie Murphy, a seventh grade student at walked into the gym Tuesday expecting to judge some acts for the upcoming school talent show. Little did she know, one of those acts was her father, recently home from serving in Afghanistan.
HM2 Petty Officer Kyle Murphy, a medic for the U.S. Navy, deployed on July 4, 2011 for Afghanistan and hadn't seen his daughter since. She wanted to be there when he got off the plane, but he had a better idea in mind.
Principal Bill Kerrigan received an email from Kylie's mother Stacy asking whether Kyle could surprise Kylie at school, and the ball started rolling.
Kerrigan staged fake talent show auditions in the gym and asked the choir students, of which Kylie is a member, to be the judges. He asked seventh grade piano whiz Yuka Suzuki to play for the first act, and then Kyle would be the second, coming out from behind the curtain on stage.
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Kylie, a bubbly young girl, sat in the front row with her friends and loudly applauded Yuka when she finished her song. Kerrigan stood in front of the choir and announced that the next act plays "many rolls, including father, husband, maybe someone that has helped our country out a lot..."
Kylie stared at the stage and waited for the second act, her father, to come out. When he stepped out from behind the curtain, she stared in disbelief and then a huge smile spread across her face.
"That's my daddy," she said and ran into his arms.
The two hugged and cried for several minutes, whispering "I love yous," and "I missed yous."
"I missed having him here," Kylie said. Someone asked her what she wants to do now that he's back. She answered, "I just want to be with him. It can be anything, anywhere."
Kyle's service officially ends in August, but he will not be deployed again, he said. He hopes to start some humanitarian work with his fiancee Rachel. He is currently stationed in Seattle.