Sergeant's Return Home Surprises 2-Year-Old Daughter
Daughter Asked Santa To Bring Her Daddy Home For Christmas
PILOT MOUNTAIN, N.C. -- A woman and 2-year-old daughter welcomed home a sergeant Thursday night who had been serving in Afghanistan since March.
Kensley Penney said she promises this year she has been a good girl. She said she does just what grandma asks and kisses her special doll with her father's picture every night.
"When we go to bed, we say prayers and ask Jesus to keep him safe," Kensley's grandmother, Patty Childress, said.
Kensley is hoping these good deeds will be enough for Santa Claus to give her the two special requests she has this Christmas.
"I asked her if she wanted a new doll or a stroller, and she said, 'I don't know,' and then a week later she said, 'I want a blue truck and my daddy,'" Childress said.
Her father, Sgt. Scottie Penney, has been serving in Afghanistan since March.
Penney's wife, April, said it's been hard for her, but that it's been especially tough on Kensley.
Scottie Penney's family worked very hard to keep him in his daughter's life, even though he was thousands of miles away from home.
"There are pictures all over the house, and like I said, she has our daddy doll," Childress said. "When she can, she gets on the Web cam with him and makes funny faces. She knows who daddy is."
In fact, Kensley sleeps cuddled up with her father every night. His picture is on a special doll that her family said she takes everywhere.
Thursday night, Penney walked into Pine Hills Church in Pilot Mountain to surprise his daughter.
The moment was caught on camera.
Kensley waited patiently in her grandmother's arms to tell Santa Claus her special Christmas wish Thursday night.
"I want my daddy," Kensley told Santa.
Kensley even practiced a song for Santa Claus, hoping it will help get her wish granted.
Kensley's constant singing must have paid off, because the Pine Hills Church Santa delivered her Christmas wish right in time for the holidays.
"It was pretty nice," Scottie Penney said. "We have been planning this for some time. I had mixed emotions about how (Kensley) would react."
The rest of the room burst out in tears when Kensley and her father reunited.
Scottie Penney said it was also a surprise for him and his wife to see the community supporting them.
"It was very emotional," he said. "I didn't see anyone who had a dry eye. It was so great to see the love and support of our community and people who care."
Welcome home, Sgt. Penney. And Merry Christmas, Kensely!
(also embedded on the web page linked above)
AND: YouTube video here
MORE: Follow up video with the Penney's here.