Military dad surprises kids during 'The Nutcracker'

An Air Force dad gave his kids quite the Christmas surprise: a cameo on stage, during Atlanta Ballet's The Nutcracker” performance at the Fox Theater.

Captain Howard Church and his wife told the kids he could not come home for Christmas, and both parents turned his visit home into a surprise.

Captain Church, who has served in the Air Force for close to 19 years, was stationed in Saudi Arabia for the past nine months. His family is based in Warner Robins.

“They're used to seeing me gone all the time,” Captain Church said, before the reunion. “Can't wait to see how surprised they are, when I step out there,” he said.

The children and their mother, Lisa, spent their Thursday evening at the Fox Theater, and got a tour backstage. They had no idea what surprise was in store for them, before the start of the show.

His family and four children were in tears, as Captain Church's family was introduced, and he walked onto the stage.

“I was really surprised. I really didn't think he was going to be there,” said son Austin Church.

Family members plan on staying home during Christmas and spending quality time together. Captain Church leaves again in 16 days.

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