Soldier arrives home in a fire truck, surprising his daughters, after yearlong tour

Sgt. First Class Terry Gottke and his wife are both firefighters in Ohio.

April 2, 2018, 6:08 PM

For 364 days, the Gottke sisters waited to hug their dad.

On Saturday, they finally got their chance, as the girls' family and community welcomed Sgt. First Class Terry Gottke back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

When a fire truck with its sirens blaring passed their house, Tawny, 7, and Brea, 5, of Blue Rock, Ohio, just outside Columbus, took notice. And, they were all tears of joy when Gottke stepped off the truck, surprising them.

"Daddy! Daddy's here!" Tawny exclaimed, giving him a huge kiss on the cheek.

PHOTO: Sgt. First Class Terry Gottke and his wife, Brittany, are both firefighters in Blue Rock, Ohio.
Sgt. First Class Terry Gottke and his wife, Brittany, are both firefighters in Blue Rock, Ohio.
Courtesy Brittany Gottke

Brittany Gottke told ABC News today that it was both her and Terry Gottke's idea to have him arrive in a fire truck, decked out in head-to-toe firefighting gear. The two kept the secret from Tawny and Brea.

"Hey Tawny? You know how I said I was going to give you your Easter presents? You see who I brought you!" Brittany Gottke said.

Tawny and Brea not only love firefighters but also want to be them when they grow up.

Fighting fires is in their blood. Their mother, Brittany Gottke, is a firefighter, as is Terry Gottke.

Terry Gottke has served in the National Guard for almost 14 years. His last deployment -- in Iraq in 2010 to 2011 -- occurred nine weeks after Tawny was born.

This time, he will be home for a month with his family before continuing to serve stateside.

On Saturday, Tawny would not let go of her dad as he was welcomed home by the entire town. Supporters lined the streets, and even set up a traffic sign with his firefighter number on it to show their appreciation for his service.

PHOTO: Sgt. First Class Terry Gottke and his wife, Brittany, surprised their daughter with his homecoming Saturday. Terry arrived in a firetruck because he is a firefighter.
Sgt. First Class Terry Gottke and his wife, Brittany, surprised their daughter with his homecoming Saturday. Terry arrived in a firetruck because he is a firefighter.
Courtesy Brittany Gottke

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