AP photo in today's Houston Chronicle photo gallery.The caption:
U.S. Army Spec. Casey Hurles surprises his son Gabriel for his sixth birthday. Hurles, who just returned from Iraq, has been planning the surprise at his son's Dayton, Nev. kindergarten class for months.Is it me, or does this seem like a fairly terrifying scenario?
You're six years old, at least marginally conscious of the tension and fear of having daddy fighting a war far away. You're happily celebrating your birthday at school. As you tear the wrapping paper off a gigantic present you are startled by the human being you uncover, thrown completely off by the magical reappearance of your father and unable to erase the image of dad's wacko facial expression.
"Daddy went to war and came home in a box."
"Instead of a life-size Toys R Us dream toy, I got Daddy. With the crazy-eyes."
Little Gabriel has a great start on his When I Grow Up I'm Gonna Need Therapy scrapbook.