06/28/2012 04:20 pm ET

Keith Howse, Army Sergeant, Surprises Daughters At Brookfield Zoo Dolphin Show (VIDEO)

An excursion to the Brookfield Zoo was made extra-special for two visitors Wednesday when a surprise guest appeared during one of the zoo's daily dolphin shows.

Jorja Coleman, 11, and Nataja Howse, 6, likely thought the highlight of their day at the zoo was being chosen from the audience to meet one of the zoo's Bottlenose dolphins, Chinook, during Wednesday's 2:30 p.m. show.

But during the presentation, the girls were surprised by the sudden appearance of their father, Army Sergeant Keith Howse, who has spent the past eight months stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, according to Brookfield Zoo.

Howse's wife Aja Moores is originally from Chicago, and planned the special visit during a family vacation to the city for a wedding, according to the zoo. The family currently resides in Germany.

Howse will be on leave for two weeks before returning to Afghanistan for a three month tour, according to the zoo, which reports that many guests approached Howse after the dolphin show to thank him for his service.