Soldier's Daughters Receive Surprise

If you missed the news video on KSTP, here is the story:A Maple Grove soldier's service in the middle east just earned a very special gift for two of his daughters back home. When one parent goes overseas, the other parent has to do the jobs of both dad and mom. That's a lot to handle, especially when your kids are like the two 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS met.

For six year old Madison and nine year old Megan, it's not the end of summer, it's the beginning of hockey season. "Both of them love to be out on the ice. I can't keep 'em off," said their mom, Melissa Soukup. A new season means new gear and a new worry for mom. "Just the time involved in going out and trying to figure out which equipment to choose was something I was not looking forward to."

Soukamp's husband Troy would normally take care of all that, but he's in the Minnesota National Guard currently stationed in Kuwait. That's where an organization called Defending the Blue Line comes in. "It's like Christmas for them. They come in and get new gear and go out the door knowing that this hockey season's taken care of," said Shane Hudella, founder of the organization.

For Megan and Madison, that means new pads, new skates, even new helmets. For mom, who's playing the role of two parents for now, it means so much more.

"I don't even have an idea of how many people are behind the scenes on making sure this is working for the military," she said.