Soldier Father Surprises Five Year Old Son At School - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Soldier Father Surprises Five Year Old Son At School

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PENITAS, Texas -

A United States soldier trades in his military fatigues for a very different type of uniform.

US Army Specialist Anthony Garza dressed up as his son's school mascot to surprise him and his classmates at their elementary school in Penitas, Texas.

It's been months since Garza has seen his family. He's been stationed in Iraq and currently is at Fort Hood in Texas.

But last Friday, he was the school's coyote mascot. In the backroom, Anthony suited up completely. His son was onstage, expecting something, but not knowing what. Garza slowly approached his son, who still thought he was the school mascot.

"He did not see me as a coyote; I figured it's something different," said Garza.

The moment he took off his mask in front of his five-year-old son, it became real.

"Being separated, as far as me up there, he down here, it's just not easy, so I have missed out," Anthony Garza said.

His son jumped into his arms, and tears could be seen streaming down both their faces.

"They miss him every single day. Seeing his dad was important and then having such a big hip rally, it was... it made him feel even more special," says a teacher.

"Seeing the gentlemen here and seeing the way they were dressed in their uniforms, I'm hoping that it will inspire [the kids]," says another teacher.

"What I think about him is that I love him no matter what," Garza's son said.

Garza says that living apart from his family has, of course, been difficult, and he is grateful that the school provided him with the opportunity to surprise his son.

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