A six-month deployment that kept an Upstate 4th grader from seeing her dad came to an end when he surprised her at school.
On Wednesday, Kaeleigh Hueller was getting ready to start her math worksheet, when in walked Clifdale Elementary School Principal Windy Hodge with an announcement for Kaeleigh’s class.
“Because you guys have been doing such a great job, I wanted to share with you one of the ways I like to love my passengers and that is by surprising them.” Hodge said.
That surprise guest was none other than Kaeleigh’s dad.
The reunion was a long time coming, since they haven’t seen each other in 6 months. The second longest amount of time they’ve spent apart.
“Were you surprised Kaeleigh?” Asked 7News Reporter Stefany Bornman.
“Yes,” Kaeleigh said.
“What went through your mind when you saw your dad?” Asked 7News Reporter Stefany Bornman.
“I was happy to see him, but I was so scared because there were a lot of cameras,” Kaeleigh said.
Christopher Hueller, an Operations Superintendent for the Air Force, has been stationed in California since he returned from Kuwait.
Hueller says he was just going to pop-in and see Kaeleigh and her older sister, who’s at Broome High School. But Kaeleigh’s mom had a better idea to make the reunion unforgettable.
“I wanted her to have a surprise, because she’s been so excited about him coming home. She’s been counting down the day and originally we thought he was going to be home in January, and it got pushed back a little. So she’s uber excited.” Heather Winters, Kaeleigh’s mom, said.
On Tuesday, Hueller flew into Baltimore and then drove eight hours to Spartanburg just to make it happen.
“I miss them like crazy and to have this moment is pretty awesome,” said Hueller.
Now that dad’s home from deployment, at least for the next couple of days, 7News asked Kaeleigh what plans she had in mind.
“What is the first thing you are going to do when you get home after school?” Asked 7News Reporter Stefany Bornman.
“I don’t really know.” Kaeleigh said.
“Homework?” Christopher Hueller said.
“Probably,” said Kaeleigh.
“Are you going to get him to help you with your homework?” Asked 7News Reporter Stefany Bornman.
“My homework is pretty easy,” Kaeleigh said.
“It’s probably hard for me,” Christopher Hueller joked.
“Probably,” Kaeleigh laughed.
Hueller tells 7News technology does help families stay in touch during long deployments. He says he tries to Facetime his daughters as often as possible.