BEAUTIFUL VIDEO: Soldier surprises 9-year-old daughter at school

WANE photo

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – A 9-year-old girl got the surprise of her life Tuesday. When Kendyl Kraick started to share a Thanksgiving story with her class at Aboite Elementary in Indiana, she had no idea what the ending would be. After seven months, her father Master Sergeant Travis Kraick came home early.

“I’m so excited,” Kendyl cried as the two hugged.

Kraick deployed to Africa with the Indiana Air National Guard. It wasn’t his first deployment – but it was the longest.

“My love for my country has grown tremendously and I’ve gained an appreciation as an adult for the freedoms that we have here and now I continue to serve because I want to uphold those values,” he said.

Kendyl didn’t think he’d be home for Thanksgiving. “I wanted to surprise you,” Kraick said. “I love you,” Kendyl replied.

“I was kind of sad, really, really sad that he couldn’t be here for Thanksgiving but now he is,” Kendyl said.

She had a surprise for him, too.

“I didn’t want you to miss out,” Kendyl said. It was a journal she’s kept for him while he was away so he could catch up on what he missed. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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