U.S. Army Sergeant surprises niece before Christmas at Tampa school

U.S. Army Sergeant surprises niece before Christmas at school pep rally
U.S. Army Sergeant surprises niece before Christmas at school pep rally

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)– Every month, Mort Elementary School in Tampa holds a school-wide pep rally, but Friday’s event was extra special.

When Genesis Cruz sat down at the Christmas themed rally, she was overjoyed when she heard her name selected to open a big present in front of her classmates.

Little did she know just how big that present would be. She didn’t think she would get to see her uncle, U.S. Army Sergeant Ricardo Cruz, for another three months, but Christmas came early this year and so did he.

Waiting in the front office of the school before making his big debut, Sgt. Cruz explains he has been a father figure for Genesis since she was born.

“She is everything like me. She likes everything I like. I spoil her every chance I get, she’s like my daughter,” said Sgt. Cruz.

Many kids across Tampa Bay are wishing for presents this Christmas: toys, candy and other material things.

9 days before the big day, these two already have everything on their list.

News Channel 8 asked Genesis what was the first thing she wanted to do once she got out of school with her uncle.

Her reply? “Anything, as long as we are together.”

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