LEVITTOWN, N.Y. – A father home from a seven-month deployment surprised his son at a New York high school, and their heartwarming reunion was captured on camera.
Air Force Technical Sgt. Kelvin Rodriguez told his wife and two sons that he would be home in March. But he shocked them all Tuesday morning with his early arrival, first surprising his wife, then his 8-year-old son E.J., and finally his 15-year-old son Amani at the boy's high school on Long Island.
Rodriguez planned the homecoming with some help from the school’s principal, who called Amani to his office. The ninth grader was worried.
"My wife was outside, and she goes like, ‘Amani, I received a phone call saying that I had to come over here,’ and he was concerned," Rodriguez told WPIX. "Then the principal walked him in, which was the sign that he was right behind them, and then I was just standing there, and that's when he saw me."
"It was a long embrace," Rodriguez said. "He did not want to let go and he is an emotional [person]."
While Rodriguez has been in the Air Force for more than a decade, he said this absence was different because Amani is now older and needs a strong support system. Rodriguez says he will be home in Levittown, N.Y., for the foreseeable future. The whole family will be traveling together to New Zealand and Australia in April.