MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A New Prague first grader got quite a surprise when she was sent to the principal’s office Wednesday afternoon.

She thought her mother was picking her up for a dentist appointment. But instead, it was her father — who she had not seen in six months because he was deployed overseas.

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Air Force Reserve Tech Sgt. Nathan Dahl is showing his soft side after spending months in Kuwait, providing security at an air base.

His daughter Aryanna described how his absence often made her sad.

“When I got home from school, I started crying,” Aryanna said.

A nine-hour time difference made phone calls a challenge.

“I knew when I could call and when I couldn’t,” Nathan said. “We tried to FaceTime a little bit so we could see each other.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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Letters and cards in the mail were a treat. That is why Tech Sgt. Dahl also visited Aryanna’s classroom at Falcon Ridge Elementary.

“They had sent me birthday cards back in October. I just took a picture with one of our vehicles, holding a flag to say thank you to them,” Nathan said.

The Dahls also have a 10-month-old baby boy, Hunter, who was a newborn last summer.

“He was tiny and now he’s a mini giant, moving around, grabbing stuff,” Nathan said.

As she packed up her things, Aryanna was looking forward to going home with her dad by her side. Her mom was also happy.

“It was emotional,” Kurston Dahl said. “I definitely had tears in my eyes watching. I know how much she’s missed him and he missed her.”

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Aryanna was not interested in going out to celebrate — she just wanted to be home with her reunited family.