ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) - A Roswell girl whose military father was on his fifth war deployment got the surprise of a lifetime when she went to the airport hoping to catch a glimpse of a movie star.
No, Demi Moore, a Roswell native, wasn't aboard, but Army Lt. Col. Jerry Heck was touching down after nine months in Afghanistan.
He managed to sneak off the plane when his 14-year-old daughter Maggie was out of sight, said a few hellos along the way and then stepped quietly around a corner.
"Who's this?" mother Becky Ann Heck said to Maggie.
"You tell me?" Jerry replied.
With that Maggie she ran to her father's arms while wrapping hers around his neck. You couldn't have peeled them apart.
"You're a big girl," Jerry said. "You've grown."
It took a lot to make the moment happen. Heck was supposed to get home on Wednesday, but because of delays in Dallas he couldn't get in until 10 p.m. Thursday.
His family quickly came up with a story and lured Maggie to the airport saying Roswell native Demi Moore was on an incoming plane.
That simple ruse then turned into a spreading rumor.
"There were a couple of college girls coming home from Dallas Christian University," Becky Ann said. "Their parents live here, they grew up here, and the one girl told me she got a text from her mom saying she heard Demi Moore was on the plane.
"So that was good because I wanted to keep it up so Maggie believed Demi Moore was coming in."
It couldn't have gone better.
"I was just like ahhhhh," Maggie said.
"It was a good covert op," Jerry added. "You did well."
And dad's just glad to be back in the arms of his family.
"It's great," he said. "It's always hard you know, and it's soooo good to be back."
This was Heck's fifth deployment. He's been to Iraq four times and Afghanistan once.
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