By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two sisters from Eagan had their Christmas wish granted early. They asked Santa to bring their dad home from Kuwait. Wednesday afternoon, Capt. Steve Guptill with the Army National Guard surprised his daughters.

It all started with a letter written by 8-year-old Olivia.

“It says ‘Dear Santa, I have a very special request this year. I really want you to bring my daddy home for Christmas,'” Capt. Guptill said.

It left her dad heartbroken but hopeful. He had been gone nine months, serving in Kuwait with the Army National Guard. He’d missed Olivia and her 5-year-old sister Caitlyn.

“At the time I saw this, it looked like there was a possibility we could be home by Christmas,” Capt. Guptill said.

He got home early Wednesday morning, reunited with his wife and then they set up a surprise inside the Santa Experience at Mall of America.

Santa asked the sisters what they would like for Christmas.

“For my dad to come home,” Caitlyn Guptill said.

The girls took pictures with Santa and then he said he had something for them.

“Look what I found,” said Santa, leading their dad in.

“Daddy!” exclaimed Olivia Guptill.

The three hugged and Capt. Guptill told his daughters how much he had missed them.

“Better than I could have imagined even. And these girls they’re growing up, they’ve changed so much just in the last nine months,” Capt. Guptill said.

His wife Becca says this is what the season is all about.

“It’s about family and it’s about being with the people that you love,” Becca Guptill said.

This Christmas will be hard to top.

“Best Christmas ever,” Olivia Guptill said.

Capt. Guptill said he’ll be home until his unit is called to serve again. He works full time for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The family is looking forward to being together this Christmas. The girls couldn’t think of anything else on their wish lists

Jennifer Mayerle

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