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Air Force captain surprises daughter at school assembly

Capt. Robert Orallo returned home from six-month tour in Iraq

BULVERDE, Texas – There was an emotional reunion between a father and daughter at Bulverde Elementary School on Tuesday morning.

Air Force Capt. Robert Orallo returned home from a six-month tour in Iraq and he wanted to surprise his daughter Iliana, who is a first grader at the school.

While he was deployed, Orallo wrote bedtime stories to Iliana and sent them home to his wife, Gabi.

"I would send them to my wife and she would deliver them in her little fairy box," Orallo said. “The stories were about Sir Snorfel and The Knight of Hamelot, just something I made up.”

When it got closer to the time for Orallo to return home, his wife came up with the idea of him writing one last story that included all the characters that appeared in his other stories. The plot was for Sir Snorfel to help a soldier he met surprise his daughter when he returned home.

The soldier in the story came to the school and snuck into an assembly, looked around for his daughter and then magic happened. She spotted him and rushed to his arms. That is exactly the way it happened in real life.

The school was in assembly. The teacher was reading that exact story, and Orallo appeared through the back door. Iliana spotted him and that fairy tale turned into reality.

"It was really exciting to see that unfold, see her kind of (in) disbelief. When I walked back, I was like 'Come on. You can come see me. It's OK. You don't have to sit there,’" Orallo said.

"She is daddy's little girl," Orallo’s wife said. “It was perfect. She loves her stories that her dad writes for her, so it worked out really well that he could do this for her."

While Iliana was in her dad’s arms, all she could say was "Daddy's awesome."

After the surprise, they went to pick up Iliana's younger brother and went off to enjoy some chicken wings for lunch.


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