BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - After serving two tours in South Asia, and flying more than 5,000 hours as an US airman, a local veteran woke up Saturday morning to a very heartwarming surprise.
"Well, so many people wait until after the funeral to have a celebration of life," said Lt. Col. Dean Todd's Wife, Victoria Todd.
Community members, family, friends, and even members of the Biloxi Fire Department gathered outside of Lt. Colonel Dean Todd's home to wish him a happy birthday.
"Well, I've gotta give all the credit to my wife, she was the one who set this whole thing up. I had no idea this whole thing was coming, I really didn't," said Lt. Col. Dean Todd
In a short presentation made before an awestruck crowd, Victoria shared endearing words about her husband of more than 40 years.
"I think it's a reflection of not only the love, but the leadership that he has had in the community and for his career in the Air Force," said Victoria.
Lt. Colonel Todd was also presented with flags given to him by members of the local VFW.
"I've got a lot of people here now that are my good friends, that I pushed around the hospital over the years, and this may be a way they're paying me back," said Lt. Col. Todd.
"Dean is a person that is well known in the community and to have him as a neighbor is a remarkable guy. You see him, you never see him without a smile, Dean is just a guy that stands out. To hear a history lesson and to hear his passion. He shares stories with us," added neighbor, Dean Wise.