Deployed dad surprises son at Vestal Elementary

Deployed dad surprises son at Vestal Elementary
Posted on 06/06/2019

“This is exciting. I’m shaking right now, my heart is beating fast,” U.S. Soldier John Garces said moments before surprising his son in his Pre-K classroom at Vestal Elementary on June 5.

Garces decided to surprise his wife and son at the school after being deployed in South Korea for seven months. The emotional reunion was successful thanks to the help of his parents and school Principal Marianela Gonzalez-Sanchez.

“I missed them a lot,” Garces said. “It was hard at times, but I remember who I’m doing this for, and it’s them, so I keep pushing for them. This is a great feeling.”

His wife Dalia was also surprised and could not hold back her tears of joy.

“It was very unexpected,” she said. “I am just so happy that he is here. I am really proud of him and to be by his side. This is definitely a special moment for our family.”

When their son, John Jr., saw his dad walk into his classroom, he immediately walked over to him and gave him a big hug. He then turned to his teacher and said he was excited to spend time with his dad.  

Soldier Garces will be home for the next month and plans to spend time with his family, visit the beach and, of course, eat plenty of tacos.


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