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Airman Surprises Daughter on her Birthday

WAHIAWA, HI -- A wish comes true for an elementary school in Hawaii. She got exactly what she wished for.
WAHIAWA, HI --  A wish comes true for an elementary school in Hawaii. She got exactly what she wished for.

10-year-old Riley Higa thinks we're interviewing her about a letter she wrote to the president.

"Can you please call her boss and tell him or her to please let her off so she can come home for my birthday on Monday?" she reads.

Riley's mother, Melissa Higa, a senior airman for the U.S. Air Force, has been deployed overseas in Korea for nine months. Her grandmother could tell, the distance was painful.

"She was pretty sad and after her mom talked to her and said she couldn't come home," explains Riley's grandmother, Charline Rich. "She told me 'I want to write a letter to the President' and I said 'Okay, we can do that.' "

"I miss and love her very much and if she can't come I'll be very very sad. Love,  Riley Higa - grade 4," Riley reads from her letter.

Reporter: "You wrote a letter to the president why did you write that letter?"

"Because I want my mom to come home for my birthday and I haven't seen her since February," Riley says.

Reporter: "How hard has it been with your mom so far away?"

"Hard. I miss her."

Then... Riley's tears kept flowing only harder now. Full of joy for an embrace she thought she'd have to do without.

Everyone says they don't know how we do it, but I think it's the families that sacrifice more they are the ones that have to wait for me," says Melissa Higa.  "Out there you have to adapt quickly.   You just do. You try not to think about it too much.  So when my mom told me that, you know, I wanted to make it big for her.  It had to be it had to be something big."

It was big. And the party will be big too. The family plans to celebrate Riley's birthday this weekend at the beach.



(Nana Ohkawa KITV for CNN)


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