DEPLOYED AIRMAN REUNITES WITH FAMILY AT BUSCH GARDENS® WILLIAMSBURG
9/28/2013 9:17:00 AM
WILLIAMSBURG (Sept. 28, 2013) – A visit to Busch Gardens® will never be the same for the Taiclet children. Ten-year-old Tiffany, 8-year-old Samantha, 4-year-old Ryan and infant Nathaniel received quite the surprise this afternoon when they were reunited with their father, Air Force Staff Sgt. Kenneth Taiclet, during a performance of Night Beats™ in Das Festhaus, the park’s German-themed eatery.
After serving the longest deployment of his 15-year military career, eight months in Afghanistan and three months in Qatar, Taiclet wanted to create a memorable reunion with his children – the youngest of whom he had not seen since his birth in April.
“This is my third deployment, my kids have been through a lot with this (deployment) and it’s like okay let’s make this one fun. Let’s make it fun,” said Taiclet.
Taiclet spent much of his childhood visiting Busch Gardens Tampa. As a father and husband who loves spending time with his family, Busch Gardens Williamsburg and its sister parks in Florida continue to play an important role in his life. The family visits the parks often, and for Taiclet who is stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia’s Hampton Roads area, Busch Gardens Williamsburg seemed a fitting place for his family reunion after his extended deployment.
Through several email exchanges and coordination between park officials, Taiclet set the stage for the big surprise. Only Taiclet and his wife, Melissa, knew that the audience attending the 12:30 p.m. Night Beats performance would take part in such a special moment. Right before the show’s finale, Ulrich – the show’s resident vampire and lead character, pulled Melissa into the performance as an “unsuspecting guest” that almost becomes his midnight snack. It was at this point that Ulrich let the Taiclet children in on the surprise as their father ran out to greet the family. Together, the Taiclet’s shared the spotlight to a rousing applause as guests celebrated their special moment.