Soldier Surprises Family - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Soldier Surprises Family

Updated: July 14, 2013 10:31 PM

This weekend about 60 members of the Iowa Army National Guard returned home to Camp Dodge in Johnston. One of the soldiers, 1LT Brent Kilburg of Eldridge, kept his homecoming a secret from his kids until Sunday night.

Kilburg had been away from his family since August of 2012. He said the days were long and the work was hard while he was in Afghanistan, but being able to surprise his four kids Sunday made it all worth it.

Kilburg's kids said they never saw the surprise coming. On Saturday, their mom, Lynn, told them she was going on a business trip. They arranged to meet her the following day at Happy Joe's in Eldridge for what they thought was a normal Sunday night dinner.

Kilburg's family and friends who were in on the secret gathered in the back of the restaurant – out of sight from the kids who were there with their grandparents.

The family placed an order for pizza. And the kids, John, Anne and Paul, were shocked to see who was bringing it to their table – their dad.

Brent and Lynn Kilburg said they had been planning the surprise for a while and were shocked their kids never suspected a thing.

"I was probably the most nervous one here I think," 1LT Kilburg said. " I was just hoping it went off without a hitch and everything went fine."

The last time the family was all together in one place was last August before Kilburg left for training at Fort Hood in Texas and then Afghanistan.

The kids say one of the things they're most looking forward to is having their dad tuck them into bed again.

1LT Kilburg was serving as a battle captain in the tactical operations center with the 1034th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion in Afghanistan. Part of the unit's mission was to coordinate transportation and maintenance at its base. Kilburg said the mission was a success and that everyone who was there made it home safely.