LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin girl received a big surprise when her father showed up at her school after serving the past nine months in Afghanistan.
Melanie Guillen ran the length of the driveway at Trout Primary as her class mates sang "Grand 'Ol Flag" and jumped into the arms of her father Jose.
Kindergarten teacher Keisha Bryan set up the surprise for her student. The entire grade sat outside on the curb and sang patriotic songs as Guillen walked up to surprise his daughter.
Jose Guillen serves in the Army National Guard and will have to go back to Afghanistan in June. He is a 2012 graduate of Lufkin High.
"It's been hard, but I had her support so it has made it easier," Guillen said. "I've been waiting for this for a long time."
The school actually orchestrated a double surprise, as Guillen thought he would be able to surprise his daughter in class. Instead, the students lined the curb to surprise Guillen as Melanie was inside helping a teacher, having no idea she was about to see her father.
"We are very proud of all our soldiers at Trout Primary and Lufkin ISD," Principal Cindy Nerren said. "I think all of our kids are really excited. Melanie is a great student and has talked about her father all year. Sometimes she writes about him in her journal, so I know he is important to her."
After the surprise, Jose carried his daughter back inside to grab her stuff and take pictures with her class. Gullien said since he is home for a limited time, he plans on relaxing and spending as much time with his daughter as possible.