Soldier surprises children for the holidays - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Soldier surprises children for the holidays

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Santa made a three-year-old girl's Christmas wish come true just seconds after she told him.

Savannah Grace Gilliam sat on Santa Claus' lap, with one of her two teenage brothers on each side, at the Savannah Mall's Bass Pro Shop's Santa's Wonderland. Santa asked the young girl, "Now, what do you want for Christmas," to which Savannah replied, "I want daddy to come home and I like gymnastics."

Savannah, her two brothers, and Santa posed for pictures, but instead of saying "cheese", the group said, "Daddy, come home," and out of the log cabin walked the children's father LTC Ceburn Gilliam.

"Daddy I thought you were coming home after my birthday, silly," Savannah said to LTC Gilliam.

As LTC Gilliam hugged and kissed his three children, those in the Bass Pro Shop began clapping for the touching moment.

The Aguilera Family of Hilton Head Island, SC said, "That gentleman from the Army walked out to surprise his daughter, really sweet. I've never seen anything like it in person in my life."

LTC Gilliam has returned a month early from a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan where he helped train the Afghan army.

"My job and my team's job was to cover down on a provincial headquarters for police officers. And so I trained a Chief of Police for Afghanistan," said LTC Gilliam.

Now, he's back home and plans on spending a lot of time with his family. He told his daughter Savannah the two are going to do a lot, saying, "We're going to swing and make puzzles," and then Savannah asked, "And watch TV. together?" LTC Gilliam laughed and said, "Yeah, we're going to do all of that."

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