GATESVILLE, Texas (KWTX) When classmates failed to show up for a pizza party celebrating the birthday of the son of two Gatesville Army veterans, the youngster’s mother called police, thinking that officers would appreciate the unneeded pizzas and the cops responded, bearing goodwill and an armload of gifts.
Classmates didn't show up for Kaleb Jansen's 11th birthday party, but police did. (Courtesy photo)
Kaleb Jansen and his parents, Brian and Tara, both former military police officers, moved to Gatesville from Colorado six months ago.
Tara spent five years as an MP and Brian served for 24 years, spending time at Fort Hood and deploying several times to Iraq.
Kaleb invited his new classmates to his 11th birthday party over the weekend at Studebakers Pizza in Gatesville, but his parents’ hearts sank when not one person walked through the door.
“It’s so hard as parents to see your little one sitting there just waiting for friends,” Tara said.
“I was afraid I put the wrong date on the invitation or something.”
“I think he did on a certain level understand what was going on, but he understood some people had other things to do and it was a weekend. We have moved quite a bit being in the military so he’s used to making new friends and going different places.”
Tara didn’t want to let the already-paid-for pizza go to waste, so she called the Gatesville Police Department.
“The lady asked what happened and we said ‘just bring the officers down here or pick it up and take it to the PD,’” Tara said, explaining reluctantly to the woman why they had so much uneaten pizza.
She wasn’t prepared for what happened next.
“One officer called back and asked what Kaleb wanted for his birthday and we told them that’s not what why we called,’ Tara said.
But it didn’t matter.
The Gatesville officers were on a mission.
“The cops showed up,” Tara said.
“They took Kaleb out to see their cars and turned on the lights. They brought gifts that he really liked. They sang ‘Happy Birthday.’ We were just really grateful and thankful.”
“We were beside ourselves. Honestly, we’ve done stuff like this when we were in the field so it’s different being on the other side of it,” she said.
”We thought it was really nice of them. We can’t really put into words how special it made Kaleb feel.”
Tara shared a post thanking the police department on her personal Facebook page that was shared hundreds of times with unexpected results.
“We’ve had people show up with gifts to his school. We’ve had happy birthday messages from as far away as Costa Rica.”
Studebakers even offered to throw another party free of charge.
Kaleb won’t be keeping those gifts, though.
Like the officers who turned up for his party, he resolved to give rather than receive.
“We sat down and talked to him and we agreed that the presents be donated to the Gatesville Care Center so they can give them out to them for Christmas.”
“We just want to give back by doing something nice.”