Navy father surprises children for last-minute homecoming

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A family emergency required a sailor to return home to the States. His arrival was kept under wraps so he could surprise his children.

Navy Operation Specialist Kendrick Killings has been deployed to Japan since October.

“Out of the 12-year career, this is the longest I’ve ever been separated from him," said his wife, Angelina Killings.  

On Thursday, Angelina needed her gallbladder removed. One day earlier, his mother had a double mastectomy to remove breast cancer.

"It was a like a double whammy, mom and wife, and being over there he felt defenseless. Nothing he could do,” said Angelina.

They decided it was best he come home to be with them. The Red Cross made it happen.

Keeping the whole thing as a surprise for their 7-year-old daughter Ava was tough.

"She's been asking for her dad a lot. She’s really been wanting him home," said Angelina.

Killings arrived right as karate class at the community recreation center was ending.

First greeting his wife, and 17-month-old son Kaden, then Ava.  She didn't expect to see him for another few months.

"How did it feel?" Angelina asked Ava afterward. "Really good when I saw them,"  she said.

"It’s amazing; it's amazing to be home with them," said Killings.

They say having the family together will make healing from those operations easier on everyone.

“To see their faces. It made me feel a lot better," said Killings.

They won’t know how long he'll be able to stay here. They're hoping for at least a week or two before he deploys again.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

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Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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