Local soldier surprises daughter at school

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TOWN AND COUNTRY, MO (KTVI)-- It's the kind of scene that can bring tears to your eyes.

There wasn't a dry eye in Mason Ridge Elementary School just over an hour ago.

Wednesday was a day for celebration. The students were getting honored for their outstanding achievements over the year.

At the end of the celebration one student, Claire Stebbin came to the stage for a presentation of a U.S. flag.

It had flown over the base in Afghanistan where her father Tom was stationed. So she wasn't expecting to see him show up at her grade school and that's when a father and daughter surprise reunion took place.

For the past year Sergeant Tom Stebbens has been stationed in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army.

He is home on leave and actually returned to the St. Louis area Tuesday, but youngest daughter Claire had spent the night at a friend's house and wasn't expecting to see her dad until Friday.

So Wednesday's appearance at an assembly in front of 400 students, parents and teachers was a surprise for all.

This is been a big week for the Stebbins family, and a tad bittersweet.

Their second oldest Megan graduated Saturday from Parkway West but Sgt. Stebbins wasn't home until yesterday.

However Wednesday night mom Michelle, dad Tom, Rebecca Megan and Claire will all attend Emily’s eighth grade graduation.

Sgt. Stebbins and his daughter Claire have a thing they call BBB, Best Buds Breakfast, they do on Saturday mornings.

That's their plan for this weekend and then a family vacation is in the works.


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