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'Dad!' -- Cottage Grove Air Force father surprises kids after deployment (with video)

Air Force Reserve Tech. Sgt. Scott Frazer (right) surprises his son, Nick, during his Air Force Junior ROTC class at Park High School after returning from a six-month stint in Afghanistan. Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner2 / 3
Grey Cloud Elementary School fourth-grader Ben Frazer gives his father, Air Force Reserve Tech. Sgt. Scott Frazer, a big hug after his father surprised him following a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner3 / 3

Nick Frazer has looked at hundreds of videos on the Internet of family members being surprised at work or school by soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.

He dreamed about having his own video.

On Thursday, his mother, Colleen, arranged for her husband, Scott, returning from a six-month stint in Afghanistan, to surprise Nick during his sixth-hour class at Park High School, where he is a ninth-grader and a member of the Air Force Junior ROTC.

Nick thought his father would be coming home on Friday. Colleen arranged the surprise with the help of Nick's older brother and sister.

"Dad!" Nick said in a surprised voice before getting up from his desk and rushing to give his father a hug.

An interest in military service runs in the family. Tech. Sgt. Scott Fraser is in the Air Force Reserve. Nick plans to join the Air Force after high school. His older sister, Emily, just enlisted in the Marines and leaves for basic training at Camp Lejeune on Jan. 3.

Scott is a 1985 graduate of Park, Emily graduated early in the class of 2012 and Nick's older brother, Josh, who works at Treasure Island, graduated in 2008.

Scott's visit to Park Thursday wasn't the family's only surprise. Colleen, who is a bus driver for School District 833, also arranged for her husband to surprise Ben, their 10-year-old son, at Grey Cloud Elementary School, where is a fourth-grader.

As all of the school's students were in the gym watching a special holiday volleyball game between teams of teachers, Scott walked in and surprised his son, whose jaw dropped as other students and teachers cheered.

After the greeting, Ben's father game him a cherry iced drink, a treat usually bought by his father before his deployment. Ben's had a few of them while his dad was gone but it wasn't the same, Colleen said.

Scott, a Hennepin County deputy sheriff, is taking his family to Disney World in January before returning to work at the end of the month.

As for those military surprise homecoming videos that Nick likes to watch, he now has one of his own. His sister recorded his reaction when their father surprised him.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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