WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 22, 2011, 10:17 AM

Soldier-Father surprises son at West Acres

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - A touching and emotional homecoming today for a Moorhead soldier home from a deployment overseas.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

A touching and emotional homecoming today for a Moorhead soldier home from a deployment overseas. Nick Henry flew in overnight, and today his 4 year-old son, Owen, got quite the surprise while sitting on Santa's lap at West Acres. This after Owen wrote a letter to Santa earlier, saying the only thing he wanted for Christmas was to see his dad.

Owen Henry came to the mall today knowing he and his cousin Briggs would finally get to see and talk with Santa. Owen's mother Leah with baby Crosby had other plans. As Santa and Owen talked about Christmas Wishes.

Santa: “What do you want for Christmas?”

Owen: “My Dad to come home for Christmas.”

A 4 year-old wish that melted Santa's heart. After unwrapping a hockey stick, the Moorhead boy got what he wished for; yard away someone who traveled around the globe for this moment was headed his way. Shoppers with no clue what this was going on watched, applauded and cried. Nick's wife and 10 month old stood and soaked it in. Little Owen could not let go of his Dad.

Leah Henry – Nick’s Wife: “Oh, it’s pretty cool. Best Christmas present ever.”

Nick Henry – Home on Deployment: “It is great to see these guys, to see family, been awhile since I have seen them, it feels really good.”

Nick, who is active Army, is home in Moorhead for just a few days. It’s a chance to spend the holidays with family. As Nick greeted relatives who came to the homecoming, 4 year-old Owen kept walking up to get one more long hug – what a Christmas present.

Nick Henry: “It was good, real good. That smile, I missed that smile. Not too sure he knew what was going on right away, I know he is excited and so am I. Feels really good.”

As a hockey game broke out in the mall, everyone was reminded that for those who serve our country away from home, it is coming home that makes the hugs so priceless.

Both Nick and his wife are from Moorhead and since he is still deployed, she and the boys are with family in Moorhead. Nick's unit is based out of the state of Washington.