Good NewsDelivery For Wife Turns Out To Be Something Entirely Unexpected – Her...

Delivery For Wife Turns Out To Be Something Entirely Unexpected – Her Military Husband

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A woman expecting a grill delivery thought she’d received the wrong item – only for her Army husband to burst from the box after returning home early from deployment.

Lieutenant Colonel Rob Gerlach had not seen his wife Elizabeth or their children in 10 months while he served in Kuwait and travelled to Iraq and Qatar.

Lieutenant Colonel Rob Gerlach
Lieutenant Colonel Rob Gerlach on duty in the Middle East. ©Rob Gerlach /

Doting husband Rob, 50, was determined to make up for his absence in a big way and began researching how to surprise his family when he returned home.

He looked up other homecoming surprises soldiers had undertaken in the past and discovered he couldn’t find any reunions with a “delivery” element to them.

Rob, from St. Charles, Illinois, has worked for Sears for over 33 years and contacted his employers to see if they’d help make his vision a reality.


Rob led Elizabeth, 45, to believe they were being given a grill as a thank-you to the family for his service, but when the box was delivered, she got a big surprise.

Lieutenant Colonel Rob Gerlach with signs for his children
Lieutenant Colonel Rob Gerlach tricked his family into thinking he was still out in the Middle East before staging his own delivery to their house in a delivery box. ©Rob Gerlach /

On delivery day, Elizabeth – being secretly filmed from a distance – answered the door and looked confused. She told the delivery drivers she was expecting a grill, not a fridge.

The Sears staff then removed the front of the box, allowing Rob to burst out with a bouquet of flowers in hand, completely surprising Elizabeth.

Delivery man cutting Rob from delivery box
The Sears delivery team begin to unpack the package.
Rob exiting the delivery box
Rob bursts out of the package…
Rob after he burst from the delivery box
…much to the surprise of his wife, Elizabeth

Rob said: “I was nervous, excited, and hopeful my wife wouldn’t figure it out before the box side came down.


“I was on the phone with my wife a couple of hours before, telling her I was completing end-of-tour paperwork in Texas, but really I was in the Sears vehicle on my way to surprise her.”

Rob and Elizabeth’s kids, Colin and Ava, were born as triplets, but unfortunately their brother Ben passed away three years ago from a respiratory issue, having suffered from cerebral palsy.

Rob with his family after he surprised his wife from the delivery box
Lieutenant Colonel Rob Gerlach with wife Elizabeth and twins Ava and Colin. ©Rob Gerlach /

Elizabeth now dedicates her time to helping children with disabilities through Ben Smiles, a foundation she created and runs, with more information being found at

She said: “I was surprised and shocked, happy of course because [Rob’s] been gone for so long, but I was in total shock.

“I was confused because I saw this big box with a refrigerator and I was expecting a grill. We had hamburgers and everything ready for grilling that night.


“Rob left last July so I was looking forward to the day he’d come back.

“We kept in fairly close contact quite a bit through text or Facetime, but just having to maintain everything, it’s been pretty challenging.”

Rob added: “Anything is worth putting a smile on someone’s face that you love.”

Story courtesy of T&T Creative Media

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