LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — When David Duran Jr. was called out of his class to the principal’s office at Nightingale Middle School in Lincoln Heights, he likely never dreamed it was for a reunion he won’t soon forget.
KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports the 14-year-old eighth grader was shocked to find his dad, David Duran Sr., had made a surprise trip home from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Before Friday, Duran, a Chief Warrant Officer with the California Army National Guard, had not seen his three children for a year and was eager to see the look on David’s face.
“I thought I was in trouble, but once I saw him, I felt very happy,” Duran Jr. said. “It felt good.”
The 20-year veteran U.S. Army helicopter pilot greeted his son with a giant red and pink Valentine’s cupcake and said he was ready for a big hug.
“I was waiting to see his reaction, I was waiting to see the shock in his face,” said Duran. “I was getting ready for him to tackle me.”
All three of Duran’s children — David, Nicole, a 12th-grader at Lincoln Senior High, and Luz, a fourth-grader at Gates Street Elementary — attend the very same schools their father attended while growing up in Lincoln Heights some four decades ago.
But for Duran, this homecoming was all about making good on his word.
“I remember the day I left, saying goodbye to my kids and promising that I would see them again,” said Duran. “It feels good to have kept that promise.”