Tearful homecoming: Deployed Army dad surprises daughter at Va. school

STAFFORD, Va. — The Army dad of a local fourth grader surprised his daughter Monday morning when he showed up at a school assembly to greet her after arriving home from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan.

Park Ridge Elementary School fourth grader Katie Mount headed to a school assembly expecting to receive a free frozen yogurt treat with her class. She didn’t know it was a setup.

As Katie turned to face the audience as she was instructed, someone began tapping her on her shoulder. She turned around to find her dad, Brent Mount. The two hugged and Katie buried her face into his chest and began to cry.

“It was the best thing I’ve had happen in a while, so I’m glad I did it,” Mount said.

Katie’s parents said they had a tough time keeping the surprise from their daughter.

Brent Mount hugs his daughter Katie after surprising her during a school assembly Monday morning at Park Ridge Elementary in Stafford County. Mount has spent the last six months deployed to Afghanistan. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
Brent Mount hugs his daughter Katie after surprising her during a school assembly Monday morning at Park Ridge Elementary in Stafford County. Mount has spent the last six months deployed to Afghanistan. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart) (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
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Brent Mount hugs his daughter Katie after surprising her during a school assembly Monday morning at Park Ridge Elementary in Stafford County. Mount has spent the last six months deployed to Afghanistan. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

Before the surprise, Katie’s mom predicted that her daughter wouldn’t cry and even Katie’s dad wasn’t expecting tears.

“I didn’t expect her to cry. She cried a little bit,” Mount said.

The 37-year-old chief warrant officer was emotional too.

“I wasn’t expecting to get that way. But this is my little angle right here,” Mount said.

Katie, a girl of few words, she said she was “happy” and “excited” to have her dad back home. She said it was hard being without him for the last six months.

She sniffled as she said, “It was sad.”

Mount, a cyber operations technician, said this was his second, six-month deployment to Afghanistan. And he believes it will be his final deployment.

He first deployed during his 12.5 years with the Air Force. He joined the Army about three years ago.


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