Emotional surprise reunion for soldier's family
WINCHESTER, Calif. (WHDH) -- An emotional reunion for two elementary school students.
They hadn't seen their dad in 11 months while he was deployed.
So this dad decided to give his kids the surprise of their young lives.
As is the case every Friday at this elementary school in California, the school's more than eight hundred students gathered for an assembly and, as usual, a special musical number was presented.
This time, it was sung by seven-year-old Lichele and her six-year-old brother, Mason.
Backstage, the father of the young singers waits anxiously to reveal himself. On special assignment in Africa for the Navy for the past year, he can only imagine how they'll react.
"They'll probably be stunned a little because they're not expecting me,” said Lt. Commander Lionel Hines of surprising his kids.
"It has been a struggle for me and the kids, but for freedom we'll do it. It's all worth it and I'm just glad he's home,” said his wife, Michele Hines.
"They're just grabbing, hold real tight, real tight!" said Lt. Hines.
Holding real tight and in Lichele's case, can't seem to let go. And Mason, well, he's busy planning daddy's first day back.