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Army sergeant Phillip Gallardo surprises his kids at center ice at ECHL game (video)


(Photo via Fawn Gallardo)

In another occurrence of a wonderful event that will never grow old, Army Sgt. First Class Phillip Gallardo surprised his children at center ice during an ECHL game over the weekend. Although this may be the first time I can recall that such

Karisma and Phillip Gallardo, aged 12 and 11, were attending a Cincinnati Cyclones game with their family. Under the impression that they had been randomly selected from the crowd to take part in the ceremonial puck drop, the two children were escorted from their seats by a member of the Cyclops marketing department and led out onto the ice.

When they arrived at center ice and were given the puck, a familiar figure strolled out on to the playing surface to join them: Their dad, Phillip, who the kids thought they would not see until next month, as he presumably was still on a one-year deployment to Afghanistan.

Boy, it sure is getting dusty in here, or is it just me?

The entire reunion was organized by Fawn Gallardo, Phillip’s ex-wife and mother to Karisma and Philip. When Fawn learned of her ex-husband’s early return, she contacted the Cyclones’ marketing department, and the team was more than happy to assist her in orchestrating the surprise.

Via CBS News (by way of Puck Daddy):

While Gallardo and his children shone in the spotlight on Saturday night, it was actually the other woman on the ice, Gallardo’s ex-wife and the kids’ mother, Fawn, who put the surprise reunion together.

She got the idea after Karisma let it be known that she wanted a big surprise when her father returned, just like the other soldiers’ families she saw featured on TV and online.

“I’d planned on getting tickets to the [Cyclones] game on Saturday,” said Fawn Gallardo.  “When I found out that he was flying in on Saturday, I thought, ‘It doesn’t get any better than that.”

The children were completely surprised, something that made it even more special for the returning military man. “It was extra nice to be able to surprise them,” Gallardo said.  “The best part was just being able to come out on the ice and to see their reaction when they saw me coming out.”