School helps set stage for surprise father, daughter reunion
|Kylie is pictured above at far left seated in the gym before her father makes his appearance. School officials arranged a fake talent show to spring the surprise.|
|Kylie stands with her mother, Stacy Murphy, and father, Kyle Murphy.
On March 27, tears flowed once again as father and daughter reunited at Copley-Fairlawn Middle School, where Kylie is in seventh grade, in a surprise arranged by Kylie’s mother, Stacy Murphy.
“This was the longest they had been apart, and I wanted to surprise her,” she said of the meeting.
School Principal Bill Kerrigan said he was happy to help arrange the surprise reunion and organized a fake talent show that Kylie’s choir, comprised of about 60 students, would judge in the school gym.
“Her mother did not want the reunion to be too overwhelming, so we kept the group small,” said Kerrigan.
Kyle Murphy said he had arrived in town earlier and was staying at a hotel. He said it was tough being nearby and not being able to see his daughter, but he liked the idea of the surprise reunion.
|HM2 Petty Officer Kyle Murphy, of the U.S. Navy, and his 13-year-old daughter Kylie Murphy, pictured above hugging, were reunited March 27 after his nine-month deployment in Afghanistan.
|Photo: Maria Lindsay|
While fellow students, teachers and some close friends watched, father and daughter shed a few happy tears and shared a long bear hug.
“I missed birthdays, holidays and not being able to watch her play volleyball, which I got her into,” said Kyle Murphy.
Stacy Murphy said the time apart for both was stressful because Kyle Murphy would communicate a “goodbye” to his daughter before each dangerous mission he was sent on.
Kylie Murphy said she was happy to have him back safe and did not care what they did as long as they were together.
“I missed having him around, and now I just want to be with him,” she added.
School officials readily complied and told her she could leave school to spend time with her father, who was on leave until March 29, when he has to return to his base in Seattle.
The father-daughter visit started with a tour of the school, and then the two planned to spend the rest of the day together. School officials also were trying to arrange an impromptu volleyball game so Kyle Murphy could see Kylie play.
Kylie called the plan “wonderful.”
Kyle Murphy said he is finishing a five-year tour of duty and plans to go to physician assistance school and then do humanitarian work in countries such as Ecuador.
“I have seen what’s out there. The conditions these people live in is just ridiculous,” he said. “We are making a difference, and I want to continue helping them.”
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