Military father surprises Olathe student - KCTV5

Military father surprises Olathe student

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OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

A young Olathe student got a big surprise at school Tuesday.

The first big surprise came when Oliver the Raccoon from the Great Wolf Lodge showed up to greet Elijah Brunt in the middle of his lunch at Indian Creek Elementary School.

Elijah was speechless when he was called up to stand with Oliver, but when an even bigger surprise walked into the room, the little boy found exactly the right words.

"Daddy!" Elijah exclaimed.

"How you doing man?" asked his father, Emerson Vance, as he lifted Elijah into his arms. "I love you."

"I love you too," little Elijah said with his arms draped over his dad's shoulders and around his back.

Vance has been stationed on an aircraft carrier and he hadn't seen Elijah for more than a year.

"I just miss being able to play with him and watch him grow and teach him things. It's really tough long distance and not being able to see him grow and take him to school. I'm just glad I can be here today," Vance said.

Elijah was absolutely floored to see his dad. The surprise took a lot of planning by both the school and Elijah's grandma.

"I've been working on this for a couple of months now. It was so important to see Elijah's face lit up to see his dad come home," said Crystal Kelley, his grandmother.

The father and son shared a sweet moment when Vance placed his dog tags around Elijah's neck. The two will spend a week together doing some important catching up.

"Just being there with him, talk to him. Just take him around and talk to him. Just hold him," the father said.

It was an important moment for both Elijah and his dad, one that showed the importance of family and love.

Vance will be deployed again after he returns next week. He's stationed on the USS Nimitz.

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