Soldier surprises 6-year-old daughter after months of being overseas

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GODDARD, Kan. (KSNW) – Just like any other day 6-year-old Emma Rueger happily walks down the halls of Oak Street Elementary School in Goddard. Thursday afternoon there was a special someone waiting for her.

Her dad, Sgt. Darren Rueger, was sitting in her desk after nine months of serving overseas with the Army. When Emma saw her dad, she ran to him and jumped in his arms yelling, “Dada, daddy, dada, daddy!”

The first words Sgt. Rueger told here were, “Oh I love you, I missed you so much.”

“It was just a normal day until I sat in her little chair. Then, I started feeling uneasy, nervous about seeing her again,” said Rueger.

Emma’s first grade teacher, Nicole Lauer, said the surprise came at the perfect time since she was feeling down about Halloween.

“I asked her ‘sweetheart, what’s wrong are you okay?’ and she looked at me and she said, ‘Mrs. Lauer, I’m really excited about Halloween and my Halloween costume. I just wish my daddy would be able to see it,'” said Lauer.

Sgt. Rueger says the moment was even better than expected and his little girl is just as he remembers.

“She’s gotten so tall and hasn’t changed a bit still the same little kid,” said Rueger.

Lauer says the love Emma has for her dad can be seen daily,.

“Since the first day of first grade, Emma has talked about her dad every single day in our classroom.”

Emma had no idea, her dad was coming home and said she was really surprised. Now, the two get to spend the rest of the week together. Emma says she is excited to spend Halloween with her dad and show off her Cleopatra costume.


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