CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- As he sat alone at IHOP on the eve of Thanksgiving, many shook hands with and thanked U.S. Army Sgt. Ian Wramp for his service.
He's been serving overseas in Kuwait and hasn't seen his family for nearly a year.
“They light up my day, every single day,” Wramp said about his family.
He made it to Texas, but then his flight home to West Virginia was canceled. After driving six hours through the night, he stopped at IHOP in Kanawha City.
“I look all calm like I have it together. It's an act,” Wramp told the people at the table next to him.
That’s because this pit stop is about much more than the coffee to keep Wramp awake.
“They all miss daddy terribly and they have no idea that I’m here,” he said.
You can probably guess what happens next. As Wramp walked toward their table, his three children jumped into his arms.
“I missed you so much,” his oldest, Kaylee, 11, said.
“I missed you too kiddo,” he said back.
“Kaylee is our little wild child. She's a burning ball of energy,” Wramp said. “Logan (age 10) is my little cub scout. He's gonna be a Boy Scout this year. I'm so proud of that. Emily, (age 4), she's our little sweetheart.”
“I don't think reality has really set in yet,” Wramp’s wife, Lori, said as they all gathered around the table. “They get to be here with their daddy for Thanksgiving.”
Customers and staff at IHOP applauded as the family reunited.
"We are pleased and proud that Ian and his wife chose IHOP for this happy occasion and we wish him and his family a wonderful Thanksgiving,” IHOP spokesperson Craig Hoffman said.