Sailor surprises family during Shamu show at SeaWorld San Diego

SAN DIEGO - A sailor just back from deployment surprised his family Friday afternoon at SeaWorld San Diego.

Before Shamu the killer whale took center stage, there was a salute to the military.

An announcer said, "Joining us today is the family of Petty Officer 1st Class Kyle Baldridge …"

The picture on the Shamu Stadium big screen dissolved into a live picture of Baldridge, standing right behind his family.

The family was reunited as TV cameras rolled, and the crowd applauded as there were long-awaited hugs and kisses.

Baldridge and his son Nathan were both in Navy uniforms. Baldridge's wife Jennifer and their daughters Ashley and Adrianna were dressed for a day at SeaWorld and a surprise.

As they huddled around him, Baldridge asked, "You guys been good? I just got here today."

Jennifer asked the children, "Were you guys surprised?"

A chorus in response, "Yeah!"

The woman in front of them wiped a tear, as did Baldridge.

"Amazing. I cried, they didn't. Thought they would but it was me," he said.

Jennifer said it wasn't easy keeping this a secret.

"It's been hard, especially when we made phone calls when my children are around. I have to be secretive about what I'm telling on the phone," she said.

The family watched the show then; the family together: Kyle and Jennifer, Ashley, Nathan, and Adrianna.

Jennifer told reporters, "When he first deployed, they really missed him a lot, they cried for him a lot; always asked when he's going to be home."

Their dad has spent the past six months in the Persian Gulf on board the USS Dexterous, a minesweeper.

"We're going to remember this forever," Jennifer said.

Following their reunion, they watched Shamu do his thing under water.

Afterward, husband and wife both reflected on the moment.

"This is definitely a long-lasting memory, huh?" said Baldrige.

His wife added, "So happy that we're able to do this for the kids."

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