Lamont Bailey and his daughter Kennedy.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - An emotional reunion you have to see to believe, as an Army sergeant surpriseed his daughter after spending eight months in Afghanistan.
On an airplane in Atlanta, Army Staff Sergeant Lamont Bailey crouched down in his seat to make a final phone call before taking off. On the other end of the line, a News 19 producer. Sgt. Bailey told the newsroom producer that's he has been in Afghanistan for eight months and he wants a photographer present as he surprises his 13-year-old daughter at Longleaf school. It was an easy decision to say the least.
In the library at Longleaf Middle School, Kennedy Bailey was hard at work, "We have this propaganda project that's due next week," said Bailey.
The seventh grader was told the news wanted to interview students whose parents are overseas. Her dad has been deployed half way around the world in Afghanistan. "We're gonna go pick him up from the airport after school so I can't wait," said Bailey.
But little did she know, her dad had already landed in Columbia and that she was moments away from a surprise eight months in the making.
"The hardest thing is being there for your children when your not there," he said.
Outside his daughters middle school, the anticipation heated up for Sergeant Lamont Bailey. "First thing I want to do is hug her and kiss her and tell her how much she means to me."
"I like orchestra, I play the cello," his daughter was telling us.
Back inside the library, Kennedy was still clueless; her dad, was standing in the shadows just feet away. "I don't see my dad as much, but he tries to see me," said Bailey.
And then, with teachers and students watching, she got the biggest surprise of the year. "Oh my God this is not funny, oh my God this is not funny, oh my God!" Father and daughter were reunited, Kennedy too shocked for emotion.
"This my baby right here, are you excited? Yes! But I still don't find this funny," exclaimed Bailey. They may have started the week miles apart, but leave the school, a family.
"Give me some sugar, muhahhh."
Sergeant Bailey says he'll have twenty five days of rest and relaxation before he has to head back to Afghanistan. As for what he's going to did on his first night back, he pulled his daughter out of school early and they headed to go grill out with family.