A high school drum major got quite the surprise on Friday night during her school's homecoming game.
Lt. Colonel Robert Montes just returned from Afghanistan Thursday. He laid low until Friday night. The anticipation of his big reveal made him nervous.
"My heart is jumping," Montes said. "I am so excited right now. It's just too much emotion to contain."
His daughter, Lucy Lopez-Hernandez, a drum major at Taft High School, was getting ready for the national anthem when her dad surprised her on the field. It was the first time she had seen him since he was deployed 10 months ago.
"I love you," said Montes to his daughter. "I love you, too," said Lopez-Hernandez to her father.
Lopez-Hernandez, who thought her father wouldn't be back until a month later, said she was surprised to see her dad at the game and that the reunion was emotional.
"Everyday, they were the reason why I kept going out there," said Montes. "And, to be able to come back and see them and hug my daughter out on the field and together saluting, during the national anthem, it represents America. It doesn't get any better than that."
Lopez-Hernandez's mother, Lucille Montes, was also at Friday's game. She said she wanted to surprise her daughter and 13-year-old son with the good news that her dad was back.
"We we surprised our 13-year-old son, too, (at school) and I had a baby while he was deployed," said Lucille Montes. "So, he got to meet her too. It's been a day full of emotions."
This is Lopez-Hernandez's senior year and she has a few more games left for her marching band season. However, she said this game, she will never forget.
"This is always going to be pretty special," she said.
After 10 months of being away from home, Montes said he could not wait to spend time with his wife, his daughter, his son and his new 5-month-old baby girl.