NEW PRAGUE, Minn. - Having all six members of the Midtvedt family home for Easter Sunday didn't seem possible this year.
"I had this planned for months," said Commander Tom Midtvedt with the U.S. Navy. "It went better than I even expected."
But the surprise he planned for his family worked nearly perfectly. Commander Midtvedt, who's been serving in Afghanistan since last summer, had it worked out with the Pastor at New Prague Lutheran Church to invite his family on stage to be a part of the Easter service. But that wasn't the reason at all.
"I was in the bathroom and almost missed it!" recalls Tom, who eventually was escorted on stage to see his shocked family. "We all started to cry."
It was a reunion this family won't forget. Neither will the congregation.
"It was special to do this at church," says Tom's wife Susan. "They're the people that have been so supportive through this."
Commander Midvedt will return to Afghanistan for two more months, but the two weeks that have together will be cherished.
"I'm so blessed to have him here, to be able to touch him," says Susan. "It means so much to know he's safe."
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)