Airman surprises his family with final homecoming at the top of the Gateway Arch


ST. LOUIS – Kevin Walton, stationed at Scott Air Force Base, had been deployed in Saudi Arabia for five months. He dreamed of surprising his family when he finally got to come home. On Tuesday, he made that happen, 630 feet in the sky. 

“They don’t have any idea what’s coming. I mean, it’s a random Tuesday; they weren’t expecting me. I was supposed to be gone for six months, so I was coming back in December,” Walton said.

With the help of friends, his wife and three kids drove to the Gateway Arch for a fun ride to the top. His wife Celeste didn’t go up to the top, which made for two heartfelt surprises. 

 “I actually told my wife goodnight a couple of hours ago. It’s bedtime in Saudi Arabia,” Walton said.

He surprised his three kids at the top and surprised his wife when he came back down, with his three kids.

This was his final deployment and his only deployment since his three kids were born. 

On the eve of Veterans Day, the Walton family of five was finally back home together after five long months. 

“I was very much wowed and surprised because I was not expecting him for another month,” Celeste Walton said.

She said she no longer has to cook Thanksgiving dinner by herself. 

“I’m really happy, this is so amazing, being surrounded by my family, and being able to pull off the surprise,” Kevin Walton said. 

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