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Mom returns from Iraq, surprises son at school

Mar 7, 2011 12:06:00 AM - thestate.com
After six months of deployment to Iraq, Audrey Gippe returned to Kingsbury Elementary School to surprise her first-grader, Tyler.

"I like it so much," he said about his mom being home.

Gippe, 36, really has been away from her 7-year-old and her two other children, Shawn, 5, and Jessica, 2, longer than her deployment.

Last April, Tech Sgts. Audrey and her husband, Chris Gippe, re-enlisted for another four years of service with the Air Force. The catch was at the time Chris, 36, was stationed at Balad Air Base in Iraq, so the dual re-enlistment ceremony was held with the assistance of video communications 6,000 miles apart.

Shortly after she re-enlisted, Audrey headed for noncommissioned officer training. The day before she graduated, Chris returned from his deployment. And the day after she graduated, she got the notice she was being deployed. Two weeks later she was off to training and then out to Iraq.

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