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Plainfield soldier’s return a surprise for daughter

Brock A. Stein | 8/23/2017, 11:01 a.m.
Army Sergeant Brian Campbell had been deployed in Kuwait since October of 2016 and didn’t know when he would get ...
Vincenza Campbell is overcome with tears after being reunited with her father, Army Sergeant Brian Campbell, who surprised the 2nd grader at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Joliet this week. (photo by Brock A. Stein) Photo by Brock A. Stein

Army Sergeant Brian Campbell had been deployed in Kuwait since October of 2016 and didn’t know when he would get to see his wife and young daughter again.

A wheel mechanic now in his 12th year in the service, Campbell finally learned that he was returning to the United States only a couple of days before his arrival stateside on August 20.

By August 22 he was standing behind a retractable room divider in the gymnasium/lunch room of Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Joliet, a smiley face balloon and teddy bear clutched in his hand, waiting for the curtain to rise.

2nd grade daughter Vincenza having lunch unaware on the other side was about to have the biggest surprise of her young life.

“Daddy!,” was all that his daughter could cry out before both were overwhelmed with tears.

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Vincenza Campbell wipes away tears after being reunited with her father, Army Sergeant Brian Campbell, who surprised the 2nd grader at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Joliet this week. (photo by Brock A. Stein)

Campbell’s wife Carmela said that it felt “amazing” to have her husband home again after being away for so long.

“We’re complete again,” she said. “It’s unbelievable.”

She said that her husband’s extended deployment has been tough to endure but has been made more manageable by the support of close family and friends who’ve helped out.

“They’ve been my backbone,” she said.

For Sgt. Campbell, he said that it felt great to be back with his wife and daughter and was looking forward to traveling to Tennessee to see extended family.

Other than plans for her dad to take her to the daddy/daughter dance this year, Vincenza said that she had “no clue” what other fun things she had planned to do now that he was back home though she did hint that she wouldn’t mind if her parents took her to find a puppy.

Photo:

Vincenza Campbell is overcome with tears after being reunited with her father, Army Sergeant Brian Campbell, who surprised the 2nd grader at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Joliet this week. (photo by Brock A. Stein)