When Dee Aponte went to school Friday, she never expected the surprise that was waiting for her just outside her classroom door.
The eighth-grader, who has Down syndrome, was shocked when she saw her father, who has been away from home for months serving in the Navy, walk through the door at Cowheard Middle School in Aurora, Illinois.
Manuel Aponte Jr. has been stationed in San Diego and hasn’t seen his daughter since August.
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When he walked into the room, his daughter immediately screamed in shock in a touching moment caught on camera.
"What are you doing here?" she said as she embraced her father.
"I’m surprising you," Aponte replied.
The pair talk every day while Manuel Aponte is away, and during his surprise visit, the father had the opportunity to meet a special someone his daughter talks about often.
"Who’s Tyler?" he asked Dee, referring to the young girl’s boyfriend.
The entire classroom erupted as Dee pointed to a boy in the room.