Amy Pvt. Benjamin Rankin III, right, smiles as he hugs his father, Benjamin Rankin Jr., who showed up to surprise his son in South Korea on the eve of his 25th birthday. Jon Rabiroff/Stars and Stripes
Army Pvt., gets a surprise visit
Pvt. Benjamin Rankin III thought he was being interviewed Thursday for a public affairs video about his tank unit when he noticed a surprise visitor standing nearby — his father had flown in from Kentucky to help celebrate his 25th birthday.
“I had no clue,” Rankin said. “When I finally took a look to see who was moving next to me (I said to myself), ‘Oh wait, that’s my dad. Wait. What?’”
Before sharing a warm embrace, the soldier’s initial matter-of-fact reaction came as no surprise to his father.
“It was typical of him just to see it, gauge it and then go ahead and react to it,” Benjamin Rankin Jr. said.
But the son said that despite what he called his “calm, calculated composure” throughout the surprise reunion, he was touched.
“Of course I’m excited, it’s my dad,” he said. “It’s a dream come true.”
Read the rest of the story on the Stars and Stripes Web site
Originally published by Stars and Stripes. All rights reserved/2013.