• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 57s

Airman shocks family with sweet homecoming surprise

By Bonney Bowman Photojournalist: John Thain - 7:43 PM August 4, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

An Anchorage airman orchestrated a homecoming surprise for his family, thanks to the help of his wife’s friends and co-workers.

Katie Smith is a nurse at the Alaska Heart and Vascular Institute. Monday, she had no idea the patient waiting behind the curtain would be her husband.

Senior Airman Eric Smith has been away from his family for five and a half months, plus one long plane ride.

“It was 36 hours to get from Al Udeid [Air Base] to here,” Eric Smith said. The air base is located west of Qatar.

In a few minutes he knows the journey will be worth it, but until then Smith says he’s feeling nervous.

Across the hospital from where Eric Smith is waiting, his wife is going about her day. She’s the lead imaging RN.

Their 4-year-old daughter Peyton is there too. She’s counting the days until her dad comes home. She thinks it’s 23.

Eric, who is never far from Katie’s mind, comes up in conversation.

“He wasn’t here, he was gone when [Peyton] was born,” she said. “I was hoping he’d make it back. She starts kindergarten on the 20th and I was like, ‘come on, send him home one week early. One week.’”

Eric Smith has known for a while he’d be coming home one month early, but he kept it a secret from the two people he loves most.

“I’ve been in the military about six years now. Probably three and a half, four of them I’ve been gone and I’ve never got to surprise her or anything,” he said.

Finally, it’s his chance to give his family the surprise of a lifetime, and it goes perfectly. She rushes to hug her husband and kisses him on the cheek.

Katie says she was shocked to see him. Peyton is overjoyed.

There’s one more surprise on the agenda, but this time it’s for Eric.

“We actually bought a house while I was gone, so I haven’t seen it. I told them I wanted that to be a surprise too so probably we’ll go into our house for the first time,” he said.

Katie Smith’s co-workers made sure her shifts for the rest of Monday and Tuesday were covered so she and Eric and Peyton can have a couple days together, enjoying their new home and each other.

Latest Stories

  • Weather

    Weekend weather forecast, Aug. 29

    by KTVA Weather on Aug 29, 19:03

    Anchorage Expect partly cloudy skies Saturday and Sunday. Highs will be below normal, in and around the upper 50s. Kenai Peninsula & Prince William Sound Partly to mostly sunny skies are expected for the Kenai and PWS. Areas near Seward and Whittier can expect some windy conditions. Highs will be in the upper 50s and […]

  • News

    Dillingham plans to voice erosion concerns during President Obama’s visit

    by Emily Carlson on Aug 29, 18:50

    When Dillingham residents are asked what their land means to them, the answer is simple — it’s home. Many fear that, due to erosion, they will not only lose their land but also the culture that’s been built upon those shores.

  • News

    Gov. Walker to fly with President Obama to Alaska

    by Associated Press on Aug 29, 13:15

    Gov. Bill Walker will fly to Alaska with President Barack Obama on Monday. Walker’s office announced in a release Saturday that Walker will accompany the president aboard Air Force One from Washington, D.C. The president will address a State Department global warming conference Monday afternoon in Anchorage. He also has visits planned in Seward, Dillingham […]

  • Crime

    UPDATE: Suspect sought in connection with 1 of the overnight shootings in Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 29, 8:03

    Anchorage police say two men were injured in shootings that happened in the overnight hours between Friday and Saturday. APD is now seeking a suspect, Michael Sharp, in connection with one of those shootings. On Friday, officers went to two homes in response to a verbal altercation between three people, a 23-year-old woman, her 23-year […]

  • Sports

    Friday’s high school football recap

    by KTVA Sports on Aug 28, 22:57

    The weekend is off to a rousing start. The top-ranked team in the state, West survived a late charge by #2 Dimond, winning on the road at Alumni Field 18-13. The Eagles took an 18-0 lead into the half as Julo Tagalu scored twice and PJ Seui added a touchdown run. At Palmer, the Moose got their first win of the […]

  • Sports

    Service H.S. quarterback suspended

    by Dave Goldman on Aug 28, 22:42

    Service High Football will have to regroup. Sophomore starting quarterback Xavier Harris has been suspended from school. He will not be in uniform for Saturday’s game with Soldotna. “All we can say is we have a young man that’s been suspended from school and he will not be on the roster tomorrow.” said Service Head Coach […]

  • Weather

    Evening News Weather, Aug. 28

    by KTVA Weather on Aug 28, 22:26

    Kenai Peninsula/Prince William Sound Expect partly cloudy skies Saturday with highs in the upper 50s and low 60s.   Southeast Showers will be likely as an area of low pressure continues to churn up gulf moisture into the Panhandle. Highs will be in the mid 50s.   Interior/North Slope For the Interior, expect a chance […]

  • News

    Eating Alaskan at the Alaska State Fair

    by Shannon Ballard on Aug 28, 22:06

    It’s not hard to find people who like to eat their way through the Alaska State Fair. Beth Foglesong is one of them. Every year she stops at the Pristine Products booth to slurp some fresh oysters from Prince William Sound. “The people that like them come every year,” said oyster farmer Dave Sczawiaski. Sczawiaski’s oysters […]