Breckenridge Texan

Military dad surprises daughter at East Elementary

Military dad surprises daughter at East Elementary
February 06
15:35 2019

As the students in Teresa Guardiola’s kindergarten class came back from PE this afternoon, Kaylynn Karl was at the back of the line. When she entered the room, her eyes darted back and forth at the handful of visitors gathered there.

Zach Karl and his daughter, Kaylynn, are all smiles after he surprised her at school on Wednesday. Karl has just returned from his deployment to South Korea. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

The other kids were already going to their tables when Kaylynn spotted one guest in particular. Her mouth dropped open in surprise and she squealed “Daddy!” as she ran across the classroom into the arms of Staff Sgt. Zach Karl. She hadn’t seen him in a year.

Karl just returned from South Korea, where he has been serving in the infantry of the U.S. Army.

“He’s been gone a year, to the day,” said Karl’s mother, Debbie Karl. “He left on Feb. 5 (2018).”

Zach Karl arrived back in the U.S. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, and had a chance to see his son, Kayden, age 2½, that night. But, he didn’t get to Breckenridge until Wednesday, Feb. 6, so his visit to Kaylynn’s classroom was a complete surprise to her.

Also on hand for the reunion at East Elementary was Karl’s grandmother, Elaine Goswick.

After the initial hugs, Kaylynn took her daddy around the classroom to introduce him to her classmates and show off some of her school work.

Debbie Karl said her son will be in town for a few weeks and will then be stationed at Fort Hood in Killeen. He has been in the DMZ (demilitarized zone) between North and South Korea.

Kaylynn Karl proudly shows her dad, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Zach Karl, around East Elementary on Wednesday afternoon. He had just arrived in Breckenridge from deployment in South Korea and surprised her with his visit. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Story by Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Kindergartner Kaylynn Karl runs into the arms of her father, Zach Karl, who surprised her with his return from South Korea. It had been a year since they had seen each other. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)




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