Soldier’s Return Surprises 4th-Grader At Stafford School

STAFFORD, VA—A fourth-grader at Park Ridge Elementary received quite the jolt Monday during an assembly in the school at 2000 Parkway Boulevard. And it had nothing to do with the free Sweet Frog ice cream she “won” for her participation in the school’s “Spirit Night.” That was nice but this far nicer.

Namely, 9-year-old Katie Mount was surprised by seeing her father for the first time since the Army officer was deployed to Afghanistan six months ago. Brent Mount was hiding behind a curtain when his daughter was announced as a winner of free ice cream. When she walked to the front of the gathering, her dad stepped out and tapped her on the shoulder from behind.

“Hey baby,” her dad said when she turned around, according to WRIC TV in Richmond. “Don’t cry. Are you glad I’m back? Me, too.” She wrapped her arms around him and he picked her up as the students cheered. Katie later told the Free Lance-Star that, “It was way better than Sweet Frog.”

The surprise was cooked up by Katie’s mom, Kelly Mount, with the help of Park Ridge assistant principal Ashley Hall. Sweet Frog donated gift certificates to the fourth-grade students and their teachers, and Mission Barbecue donated a free lunch to those in attendance.

“We don’t have family here in this area, so we kind of do without and it’s just her and I,” Kelly Mount told the television station. “So I wanted to do something that was really going to make an impact on her and, um, I did not expect her to cry, so that’s huge.

Brent Mount said he will not have to serve another deployment. “I won’t leave her again,” he said.



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