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MONTEBELLO ( — Children whose parents serve abroad in the military dream of their homecoming.

Three young children in Montebello haven’t seen their father, an Army sergeant stationed in Korea, since June. They were asked in front of a school assembly Friday morning what they’d say if they could see him.

“I would tell him that I missed him really bad,” said the eldest, 9-year-old Alexa.

At that moment, Sgt. Carlos Torres emerged from the school’s library and gave his children the ultimate surprise.

His two daughters and son froze, visibly overcome with emotion as they teared up and huddled in to hug him.

When it all sunk in, Torres’ son, Carlos Jr., a kindergartener, told him he loved him. His daughter Bella, a first-grader, gave him a kiss.

Torres was given a month leave from his duties as an aviations operation specialist. He waited to break the news to his children, and opted to surprise them at their school, Washington Elementary.

“I finally got the chance to come home and, when I got that chance, I decided to put together some elaborate scheme to surprise my kids…I’ve got butterflies, everything going on in there. I can’t wait to see them,” Torres said.

The soldier’s wife, Cynthia, was on hand with the youngest member of the Torres family, an infant, to mark the occasion, saying she was relieved to see him home.

Torres says he wants to spend his time home packing it good memories for his children. It appears he’s off to a good start.


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