Home Again
OMAHA, Neb. -- Tech. Sgt. Chuck Minor, 2d Systems Operations Squadron, hugs his daughter, Sarah, at a local restaurant on Nov. 29, after returning home early from a year-long deployment to Iraq. Minor is the Air Force Weather Agency’s information technology procurement manager. (Air Force photo by Ryan Hansen)
Airman gives daughter early Christmas present



by Ryan Hansen
55th Wing Public Affairs


12/1/2011 - OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- As most people would agree, there's nothing quite like an early Christmas present.

So, after learning he would be returning home from a year-long deployment earlier than expected, Tech. Sgt. Chuck Minor, who is assigned to the 2d Systems Operations Squadron here, thought that would be a nice surprise for his daughter, Sarah.

After throwing around different ideas with his wife, Sherry, for a week or so, Minor decided that walking into one of her classes at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where she is an 18-year-old freshman, would do just the trick.

Upon flying into Omaha on the morning of Nov. 29, Minor met with the professor of Sarah's 1 p.m. class, so he could finalize the plans for this early present. They decided it would be best for him to wait until role was called and the class had started before he made his entrance.

As Minor waited patiently outside Dr. David Peterson's classroom to surprise his daughter, it quickly became apparent they forgot one possibility - what if she skips class?

Sure enough, when Dr. Peterson called out the name, Sarah Minor, it was dead silent.

Luckily enough, Sherry was able to track her down to a nearby fast-food restaurant, so Minor had to quickly put together plan B. He would have his wife meet her there and then he would wait in the car for a few minutes before surprising her.

As Sherry and Sarah sat down to enjoy some Mexican food, it wasn't long before she would be getting more than what she paid for.

Minor quickly made his way into the restaurant without anyone noticing and tapped his daughter on the shoulder.

"Oh my God, Daddy," she yelled.

With tears of joy in their eyes, they hugged each other, happy that the year-long deployment to Iraq was over - sooner than Sarah had expected.

"This is amazing," he said. "It's been a long year."

The two sat down and laughed about skipping class and started making plans for the time they had lost over the past year while Minor was in Iraq.

Everything was normal again for the father and daughter. Before too long Minor will be back working as the Air Force Weather Agency's information technology procurement manager, but that's okay, he said. He's back with his family for the holidays.

"I was told I have eight months of work to catch-up on here," he said, only half jokingly. "But that's fine, I'm just glad to be home."

And yes, the early Christmas present was indeed delivered, just to a different address than expected.