Navy Dad Secretly Returns, Surprises Son as Darth Vader

ABC News Blogs


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."

View photo

.

Famie West Photography

The 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.

For more "Standing up for Heroes" stories, click here.

View Comments (41)

Recommended for You

  • US Veteran Says He is 'ISIS Soldier,' Calls Bin Laden 'Beautiful Man,' Officials Say

    The FBI has arrested a former member of the Army on weapons charges after he allegedly expressed sympathy for ISIS, called Osama bin Laden "a beautiful man" and said the murder of government agents was "a hundred percent obligation," according to court documents filed in a Washington state federal…

    Good Morning America31 mins ago
  • Giant Rabbit From Scotland Looking for a Home

    The Scottish SPCA center in Glasgow has a 7-month-old continental giant rabbit up for adoption. The rabbit, Atlas, is already about the size of a Westie dog and is still expected to grow, according to a Feb. 8 press release from the Scottish SPCA. Atlas is not only the same size as a dog, but…

    Good Morning America
  • Dad Tells Other Fathers, 'Respect the Mother of Your Child' in Viral Facebook Post

    A U.K. dad’s advice to fellow dads “respect the mother of your child” has gone viral after being posted in a Facebook tribute to the mother of his 9-month-old son.Tony Emms, of Cresswell Northumberland, in the U.K., posted on Facebook last month a photo of his fiancé, Charlotte Sperry, sleeping…

    Good Morning America
  • Duchess Kate Champions Mental Health in New PSA

    Duchess Kate is on a mission. The Duchess of Cambridge, 34, is speaking out in a new public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness for Children’s Mental Health week for her mental health charity, Place2Be. The Duchess recorded a special video message to coincide with Children’s Mental…

    Good Morning America
  • 'Kung Fu Panda 3' Stays on Top at the Box Office

    "Kung Fu Panda 3" scored another box office win during Super Bowl weekend.The animated sequel earned an estimated $21 million in its second weekend of release.'Kung Fu Panda 3' Tops the Box Office'The Revenant' Tops Weekend Box OfficeThe Coen brothers' "Hail, Caesar!" opened in second place,…

    Good Morning America
  • Peyton Manning Knows What He's Doing After Super Bowl Win

    Peyton Manning kept with tradition when it came to his Super Bowl celebration plans. The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl against the Carolina Panthers, 24-10. During a press conference after Sunday night's game, Manning said that he was "taking his kids to Disneyland" before he and his family…

    Good Morning America
  • 'Girls' Star Lena Dunham Taking Time Off for 'Chronic' Illness

    The acclaimed HBO show "Girls" is back for its final season next month, but its biggest star will not being making press appearances due to a "chronic condition."Lena Dunham took to Instagram today to write, "I just wanted to let you know that, while I am so excited for Girls to return on Feb 21, I…

    Good Morning America
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Rocked by Hurricane-Force Winds Heads Back to New Jersey

    A Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was rocked by hurricane-force winds overnight is sailing back to port in Bayonne, New Jersey. The ship left from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, on Saturday for a seven-night cruise to the Bahamas. The company posted a message on Twitter saying that all guests are…

    Good Morning America
  • White House Asks Congress for $1.8 Billion to Fight Zika Virus

    The Obama administration is requesting $1.8 billion in emergency funding from Congress to fight the Zika virus in the United States and abroad, the White House announced today. The request comes after lawmakers on Capitol Hill urged the White House to address the spread of the virus, which is…

    Good Morning America
  • Super Bowl 50: Beyonce Takes Fans Behind the Scenes of Her Performance

    Although Coldplay headlined the Super Bowl 50 halftime performance, all eyes were on Beyonce, who shared the stage with the British band along with pop star Bruno Mars.The singer, who announced her Formation World Tour right after the big game ended, is letting fans in on how her performance came…

    Good Morning America
  • Countdown to New Hampshire With 5 Things to Watch in Tuesday's Primary

    Tuesday will be a critical moment on the road to the White House as residents of the Granite State cast their votes in the first-in-the-nation primary. With independents making up more than 40 percent of the electorate, the New Hampshire primary can often surprise, and that may be the case…

    Good Morning America
  • Super Bowl 50: Peyton Manning 'Very Much at Peace'

    Peyton Manning says he’s “very much at peace” as he contemplates retirement from the NFL just hours after winning his second Super Bowl title. Manning, 39, finished 13 for 23 for 141 yards in the Broncos’ 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Sunday’s Super Bowl game at California’s Levi’s…

    Good Morning America
  • Panda Cub Bei Bei Climbs a Tree With the Help of His Mom

    Bei Bei is moving up in the world.The Smithsonian National Zoo’s baby panda experienced the outdoors for the first time last week and now the nearly six-month-old cub is scaling trees—-with the help of his mom Mei Xiang, of course. The Washington DC based Zoo posted a video of the feat online this…

    Good Morning America
  • 4 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Scoring Beyonce Tour Tickets

    Minutes after Beyonce announced her 2016 Formation World Tour during Super Bowl 50, fans flooded to her website looking for more information about the tour, and temporarily crashed the site. Fans have also been tweeting in anticipation and excitement for the ticket sales to go live. Securing…

    Good Morning America
  • Paris Jackson Reveals Struggle With Alcoholism, Pressures of Fame

    Paris Jackson, the only daughter of music legend Michael Jackson, is apparently struggling with alcoholism.In a now-deleted, profanity-laced rant on Instagram, the 17-year-old told her followers that she was being attacked online."I am expected to literally sit … all day replying to comments people…

    Good Morning America
  • Russians Arrest 7 in Alleged ISIS-Related Terror Plot

    Russian security services have arrested seven people accused of plotting terror attacks on behalf of the Islamic State in major Russian cities, the country’s FSB intelligence agency said today. The arrests were made in the city of Ekaterinburg, located in the Urals region on the edge of Siberia,…

    Good Morning America
  • Chipotle Temporarily Closes Restaurants for Company-Wide Meeting

    Chipotle restaurants across the nation are temporarily closing today in an effort to educate 60,000 employees about the food-borne illnesses that have rocked the company in recent months. Food safety protocols will also be explained in the meeting. To make up for the closures, Chipotle is…

    Good Morning America