First-Grader Thought He Had ‘Seven More Wake-Ups’ Before Dad Came Home From Deployment — Until the ‘Best Happy Surprise Ever’

Declan Osborne, a first-grader in Pembroke, New Hampshire, thought he had “seven more wake-ups” until his father, Sgt. Dana Osborne, returned from his National Guard deployment.

But Osborne returned earlier than his son expected and organized a surprise reunion with the help of his teacher at Pembroke Village School.

Declan and Dana Osborne are reunited after Sgt. Osborne’s 11-month deployment. Image source: WMUR-TV.
Declan and Dana Osborne are reunited after Sgt. Osborne’s 11-month deployment. (Image source: WMUR-TV)

“I think he’s going to probably yell and, hopefully, hug me,” Osborne told WMUR-TV prior to seeing his son. “The school here has been very supportive of my deployment and with Declan and stuff, so we thought it would be a great idea to do it here.”

Declan’s teacher told the class that the news team was there to read to them.

But then Osborne walked into the classroom.

“Hi, Bug. You want to give me a hug?” Osborne said. “Oh, I missed you.”

“Do you have any words in your heart to describe how you’re feeling?” Declan’s teacher asked him.

“Good,” he replied.

“Are you surprised? Is this the best happy surprise ever?” she asked.

Declan could only nod.

Declan and Dana Osborne are reunited after Sgt. Osborne’s 11-month deployment. Image source: WMUR-TV.
Declan and Dana Osborne are reunited after Sgt. Osborne’s 11-month deployment. (Image source: WMUR-TV)

“He’s much taller, much more grown up,” Osborne said before helping his son skip out of class early. “Still handsome, though.”

According to WMUR, this was Osborne’s third deployment, and he had been gone for 11 months.

16 Comments