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Tearjerking reunion as boy, 8, finds his Army father hiding in the trunk of car [Video]

‘I got you a surprise’: Tearjerking reunion as boy, 8, finds his US Army father hiding in the trunk of his car when mother picks him up from school

  • Phillip’s father, Joseph Frey, 29, had returned home after a year in the Middle East
  • His father is a chief air defense artillery warrant officer in the US Army
  • Footage was captured by his mother, Nicole, at elementary school in Oklahoma


This is the tearjerking moment a young boy finds his Army father hiding in the trunk of a car on the school pick-up.

The footage was captured by eight-year-old Phillip Frey’s mother, Nicole, 29, at his elementary school in Oklahoma

Phillip couldn’t believe his eyes as he peered over the back seat of his family’s SUV to discover his father, Joseph, 29, had returned home after a year in the Middle East.   

As Phillip gets into the SUV, he asks Nicole why she is recording to which she replies: ‘I got you a surprise.’ 

When Phillip expresses his excitement, she tells him to find the surprise, prompting him to look around the interior.

As Phillip turns to face the back of the vehicle, his father pops up from behind the backseat.

The Frey family – Phillip (left), Nicole (middle left) and Joseph (middle right) who live in Oklahoma

Phillip's father, Joseph Frey, 29, had returned home after a year in the Middle East

This is the tear-jerking moment an eight-year-old boy finds his Army father hiding in the trunk of a car on the school pick-up in Oklahoma

This is the moment eight-year-old Phillip finds his Army father Joseph hiding in the trunk of a car on the school pick-up in Oklahoma. Joseph Frey, 29, had returned home after a year in the Middle East

Phillip screams ‘Daddy’ as he climbs into the trunk for a hug and starts to cry in his father’s arms. 

When Joseph left for active duty in Kuwait, the global pandemic was just beginning to take hold. 

But as the months went on, Joseph, a chief air defense artillery warrant officer in the US Army, was left wondering when he would be able to come home, as the coronavirus meant there was no mid-duty leave. 

Phillip screams 'Daddy' as he climbs into the trunk for a hug and starts to cry in his father's arms

Phillip dives over the backseats to greet his father

Phillip screams ‘Daddy’ as he climbs into the trunk for a hug and starts to cry in his father’s arms

The separation was tough on Joseph’s son, Phillip, who was at home with his mother. 

At last on April 14, however, Joseph was finally back on US soil and so he and Nicole drove to Phillip’s elementary school at the end of the day. 

Before Phillip was set to walk out the front doors, Joseph asked Nicole if she thought he should surprise his son, quickly climbing over the back seat and into the trunk.

Joseph (above) is a chief air defense artillery warrant officer in the US Army and left for active duty in Kuwait

Joseph (above) is a chief air defense artillery warrant officer in the US Army and left for active duty in Kuwait

Nicole, who captured the moment on video, said: ‘I was very excited – it’s been a hard year emotionally for our family, and I knew a lot of emotions would bubble out for all of us. 

‘Phillip is very emotional and wears his heart proudly on his sleeve and loves his dad so much, I was so happy for him.’

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