Military dad surprises daughters in school

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Photo: Mattoon Community Unit School District 2 Photo: Mattoon Community Unit School District 2

MATTOON, Ill. (WAND) – Two students in Mattoon got a Christmas surprise when her military dad came home early.

On Friday at Riddle Elementary School, Valerie Rodriguez jumped out of her seat and into the arms of Staff Sgt. Alex Rodriguez, who had returned for the holidays from serving in South Korea. The girl and her father shared an emotional moment together in front of classmates.

Rodriguez had been in South Korea for over a year before coming home to see his family.  He’s part of the U.S. Army 2nd Infantry Division and served two previous tours in Afghanistan.

After her dad wiped away her tears, she introduced him to the other kids in the room. Her mother, Jennifer Blackwell, and her two grandmothers were there when the surprise happened.

Rodriguez also surprised his sixth grade daughter, Carmen Rodriguez, at Mattoon Middle School.

The full video is below.

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