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Navy Dad Secretly Returns, Surprises Son as Darth Vader


Although his son's name isn't really Luke, Navy Reservist, Justin Whyte, 33, of Wichita, Kan., really is this 5-year-old boy's father, and dressed up as Darth Vader to surprise him for his 'Star Wars' themed birthday party.

Last May, Whyte secretly returned home from training in California on his 96-hour break, just in time to surprise his son, Aiden, for a light-saber battle he'd never forget.

"My son was turning five and my husband was not supposed to be home," Susie Whyte, 31, told ABCNews.com. "My kids were told over and over we won't see him until Christmas. We snuck my husband home from the airport. My son asked about doing the Darth Vader bit, and he thought it was his older cousin, who is 13 and very tall."

Famie West PhotographyThe children, Emily, 6, dressed as Princess Leia, and Aiden, 5, dressed as Luke, had not seen their father for two and half months and had no idea it was Whyte in the Darth Vader costume instead of their cousin.

"Most of the family knew he was going to be there, except for the kids," Susie Whyte said. "My daughter was the one that came running in. She was very excited to see him. Aiden just kind of stood there because he knew his dad wasn't going to be there. It was a huge surprise for him."

The video of Whyte's Darth Vader surprise already has more than 250,000 views since it was posted on Nov. 5 to Welcome Home Blog, a site devoted to videos of military homecoming reunions.

Whyte, who is currently serving in United Arab Emirates, is due back from his deployment for the first time next month, but has no new plans for a big surprise this time around.

But for little Aiden, a self-proclaimed big 'Star Wars' fan, the first surprise was probably enough.

"It's something he'll never forget. He talks about it all the time," Susie said.

She added the only thing that could top a personal visit from Daddy as Darth Vader would be a trip to Disneyland.

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