The Main Stream

Jan 13, 2012 7:16 PM

Soldier surprises daughter at school

TUCSON - A little girl got the surprise of a lifetime.

Her father who had been deployed to Afghanistan reunites with her at school.

It's been eight months since Sergeant Jeff Botkin has seen his little girl, and he said he just couldn't wait to give her a big hug.

The anticipation of waiting was almost too much for Botkin, but after several months not seeing her daughter, he's finally reunited.

He gets to see how much his little girl has changed since the last time he's seen her.

"What she's going to look like? How tall she's gotten how long her hair is now her two front teeth that are missing.? Everything has changed," said Botkin.

Sergeant Botkin has been in the Army Reserve for several years now.

He was serving in Afghanistan and is overjoyed to finally have some time off to spend with family.

"We're really glad he's back home and he's safe," said Botkin's father Rick.

Emily's grandparents said it's been a tough year for her, but school and family have helped keep her mind off of things.
"She really misses him, but she basically tries to play with our other grandchildren so that she's kept busy," said Botkin's mom JoAnn.

Botkin said he doesn't know for sure how long his leave will be at this time, but he said he's going to make the most of his time with his daughter, the love of his life.

Botkin and his family plan to celebrate a late Christmas and birthday now that Botkin is in town.

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