Paul and Christa Vollmer are spending their weekend in style.
A trip to the Thompson Park Zoo is on tap.
Unfortunately, their dad, Staff Sgt. Paul Vollme,r can't join them. He's been stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina for two years.
At least, that's what they thought.
Volmer surprised the kids at the zoo, revealing himself as the man inside an otter costume, much to the surprise of Paul and Christa.
After a 20-year career, three tours of duty, Vollmer has retired. He's home now for good.
Unbeknownst to him, his kids have plans for him. "play baseball," said little Paul and Christa chimed in, "go to Chuckie Cheese."
"I'm honored that I was able to serve the country," the elder Vollmer said. "I feel a big sense of accomplishment."
It was an accomplishment celebrated during an afternoon at the zoo: the idea of Paul's and Christa's grandmother.
"I tried to think of a place to have it," Diane Coates said. "I thought of the zoo. The kids love the zoo."
Now that Vollmer is retired, he looks forward to the next part of his life. He plans to take psychology classes at Jefferson Community College.
But for right now, all he wants is his kids. All day. Every day.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016, Watertown, NY