Soldier surprises daughter at school

By Ashley Nix

ALABASTER, AL (WBRC) - Monday began as a normal day for 5-year old Makenna Kato, but when she walked into her classroom at Meadow View Elementary just after 11 Monday morning, there stood her father whom she hadn't seen in 6 months.  

Jarred Kato, a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has been in Afghanistan serving our country.  But for 2 weeks, he gets to come home and see his little girl, which was a complete shock to her.

Makenna, normally a talkative, loud kindergardener was speechless as she saw her dad.

"I've never seen her speechless like that," said Jarred Kato. "I think she was shocked."

The homecoming was a big hit for her fellow 5 and 6-year-old students. Makenna promptly took her dad out to the hallway to show him pictures she had drawn.  Meadow View is a school that's been very supportive of Makenna and her dad, allowing her to take phone calls from Jarred while at school.  "I went to the guidance office one time and I got to talk to him," Makenna said.  "I tell him I miss him."

Jarred spends most everyday providing personal security in Afghanistan on his 2nd tour of duty.  This day, his emotions were running high.  "I was nervous and excited and I was ready to see her.  I didn't  know how she'd react, or if she'd even recognize me."

The two will be together for the next two weeks; for Thanksgiving, the Iron Bowl and some quality time.  Kato to his family, and the school who helped to set the surprise up:  "Thank you for making this possible.  It was outstanding on the surprise and I'm very thankful for it."

A shy Makenna just simply said "Thank you!"

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