Emotional Reunion: Soldier returns from Kuwait, surprises daughter at school
COLUMBIA, S.C. (KTVU) - Her emotional reaction says it all. A South Carolina high school senior was left speechless and is overcome with tears when her father, an army sergeant, returns home from Kuwait and surprises her at school.
An unsuspecting Solymar Solis is seen walking into her class without a clue that her dad is sitting among the other students at their desks.
Solymar then takes one glance to see her father sitting there and she is just overwhelmed with emotion, exclaiming, "Oh my God!" before covering her mouth as the tears take over.
Her father, Sgt. Carlos Solis Melendez, with roses in hand then goes over to his daughter and embraces her.
The school, Spring Valley High, helped execute the plan.
During Solymar's first period economics class, she was asked to run an errand for her teacher.
That's when her father slipped into a desk in the front row.
Solymar later described the moment. "I saw my dad. I freaked out, I panicked and started crying," the 17-year-old said.
Melendez, who is a single parent, said that while he was deployed, his sister had been taking care of his daughter.
He said his sister played a big role in planning the surprise.
Melendez said he felt really good about doing something special for his deserving daughter.
"Mission accomplished," he said.
The sergeant's return comes after nine months in Kuwait.
Melendez said that during his tour he missed out on a lot of his daughter's life, including her birthday.
But he said he was happy to be home and was looking forward to seeing her walk across the stage next June to receive her high school diploma.