• Watch: Navy officer surprises his kids at Fourth of July parade

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    BRANDON, Fla. - A Navy officer deployed in Africa returned home early and surprised his children by marching in his hometown’s parade as his family attended the Fourth of July event, WTSP reported.

    >> Read more trending news

    Petty Officer 2nd Class Mike Mellinton had been stationed in Djibouti for a year. He came home to the Tampa suburb of Brandon and decided to participate in that town’s annual Fourth of July parade.

    “When I found out I was coming home close to the Fourth, I thought, ‘What better way to surprise my kids than the parade we come to every year?’" Mellinton told WTSP. "My daughter started sea cadets. I've been missing working on her with that. (One of) my boys graduated kindergarten."

    Mellinton had been gone for two deployments over the last three years, and his return home was worth it when his children and wife ran into his arms.

    "I'm excited to be home and spend some time with them for a while," Mellinton told the television station.

    Next Up: