Army Sergeant Keith Howse attended Brookfield Zoo’s 2:30 p.m. dolphin presentation today to surprise his two young daughters, Nataja and Jorja, who he has not seen for almost a year. For the past eight months, Sergeant Howse has been stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Sergeant Howse’s daughters were called from the stands to assist in a special encounter with one of the dolphins during the presentation. The show’s narrator announced that their father is serving in Afghanistan and we wanted to make this day special for them. After the girls participated in the encounter, the narrator said that there is another surprise for the girls and she announced that their father is here. They went running to him. After the presentation, many guests went up to Sergeant Howse to thank him for his service to our country.
The family currently resides in Germany, but has planned this special homecoming in the Chicago area because of a wedding they will be attending. Sergeant Howse’s wife, Aja, is originally from the Chicago area and he is from East Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sergeant Howse will be here for two weeks before having to return to Afghanistan for three more months.