A local nine-year old received the surprise of a lifetime Tuesday afternoon from her father, who is in the U.S. Air Force.

Lauren, a third-grader at Gloria Hicks Elementary, was surprised by her father, Senior Airman Mark Birrenkott, during a special holiday assembly.

Birrenkott has been serving in Germany for the last six months. Before that, he did three tours of duty in Iraq.

For Lauren, it was the holiday present she really wanted, though it came quite early. She was actually expecting him to come home Dec. 23.

"Because I talked to her two or three days ago, that I wasn't going to be able to come home until the 23rd because of work," Birrenkott said. "I know the sense of surprise is going to hit her. I just don't know if it's going to hit her all at once or later on when I actually get to spend time with her."

"I felt shocked," Lauren said. "A lot."

We here at Kiii News wish Lauren and her dad a very Merry Christmas.