Florida sailor surprises daughter during Santa visit

Published On: Dec 19 2012 10:43:28 PM EST
Updated On: Dec 20 2012 07:34:48 AM EST

While Brianna Legezdh and her mother waited in line to see Santa at The Avenues shopping mall, her father, Second Class Petty officer John Legezeh, hid anxiously behind the scenes.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A local sailor came home early from his deployment in Afghanistan, setting up a holiday surprise for his family.

While Brianna Legezdh and her mother waited in line to see Santa at The Avenues shopping mall, her father, Second Class Petty officer John Legezeh, hid anxiously behind the scenes.

When Brianna told Santa what she wanted for Christmas, Spc. Legezeh showed up.

Spc. Legzdgh said he wasn't sure he would be there. He said he wasn't scheduled to return home until March, but things just fell into place.

"The last time I went on deployment she was just a year old so she knew I was gone, now she asks for me, she knew I was gone, that makes it a little harder," said Spc. Legezeh. "When we pulled into port, we had Skype and all that stuff, but it's still not the same being able to have that contact."

When John's wife India found out her husband was coming home early, she contacted the mall and asked if they would help pull off the surprise, and they said the planning paid off.

"The look was priceless. That made it all worth it," said India.

The Legezdhs didn't waste much time at the mall. They headed home for some much-needed R&R.