Photo op turns into military surprise at Columbus Zoo


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – When you are three or five years old, it’s hard to top a day at the Columbus Zoo with a special sea lion show at Adventure Cove. Unless that show has an incredible surprise ending that includes a military homecoming.

5-year-old Scarlet Murdock and her 3-year-old sister, Amelia, were full of smiles at Adventure Cove, where they were treated to a sea lion training session. It was supposed to end with a sea lion joining them for a photo op.

But instead of a sea lion, Master Sgt. Nicholas Murdock made a surprise entrance after a deployment to southwest Asia.

“So it was tough. Tough just thinking about wanting to be with the girls I told them every time I would go run on a treadmill I would think about this and start tearing up. So it was something really was good for me to start thinking about getting home and being with my girls,” said Master Sgt. Murdock.

“It’s been a long time coming he left right after Christmas, a couple of days after, and it’s been a big build-up. He missed some birthdays and we thought let’s make a big surprise for the girls,” said Kristina Murdock, mother of Scarlet and Amelia.

Kristina knew her husband was home early, and hiding out at his parents until it was zoo time.

Master Sgt. Murdock said he’ll be home for a while, with no other deployments scheduled.

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