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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