A Marine returning from a six-month deployment overseas surprised his young daughter Thursday in Fort Worth.
Cpl. Eric Simon showed up at Tanglewood Elementary where his daughter Jax is a special needs second grader.
"I'm a little nervous. It's been six months,” Simon said as he waited around a corner while Jax was at recess. “I want to see my daughter for the first time in a minute."
While deployed in Japan and other places, Simon sent his daughter videos.
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"I love you Jax,” he said.
And they Facetimed all the time.
"I don't think he's missed one school event, down to the Halloween party. He was on Facetime every single event,” Simon’s wife Dakota Severe said.
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Jax’s mom met Simon a year ago when he was stationed in Fort Worth.
They quickly married and became a family.
It's been tough with Simon gone and half a world away.
Jax knew he was coming home soon but didn't think it would be in time for her birthday Monday.
She found out as her class returned from recess around the corner where Simon was waiting.
At first she didn’t see him.
Then, she suddenly screamed – so excited she ran off to the side at first.
But seconds later, the emotional embrace six months in the making.
"Yay!” the girl said. “You're probably here for my birthday!"
A welcome surprise for a little girl whose long wait was finally over.
Jax explained her feelings in one word.
"Happy,” she said.