Returning Davenport soldier surprises 9-year-old daughter

Halloween is a time for costumes and candy. But at Jackson Elementary School, there’s a real surprise in the works on Friday.

“Oh, I’ll probably cry a little bit,” said SFC Dave Wirtz. He’s a 19-year Army veteran who works at the Rock Island Arsenal’s Army Sustainment Command.

Wirtz is preparing for his big entrance in a school office. That includes donning a full body Spiderman costume and cape.

But this is no ordinary Spiderman. He’s just back from his fifth deployment — this time to Afghanistan — and is ready to reunite with his daughter, Jessie, 9.

“She’d do anything for anybody,” he said. “Great kid, good at school, has a great imagination.”

Jessie doesn’t even know that her dad is back in the country. So this will be really fun.

As Spiderman walks into the celebration, he brings a cape for Jessie. That’s for being named a hero at Jackson School.

“All right, turn around,” he said.

“Daddy!” she exclaimed.

Spiderman and some shrieks made for a joyful reunion.

“Did you like that?” he asked.

“I love you,” she responded.

“Me, too,” he added.

Through the applause, this halloween is special, not spooky. It’s something that this daddy and daughter will always remember.

“I’m just glad that he’s home because I really missed him,” Jessie said.

Better than candy and costumes. It’s a sweet surprise for the Wirtz family.

“Nothing will top it,” he said. “I’ll remember this the rest of my life, and my daughter will, too.”

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