As Staff Sergeant Dylan Shaw walked through the hallway at his daughter's middle school in Cedar Park Wednesday, he wondered how much she has changed.
“I can’t wait to see her,” he said.
He hadn’t seen her in five months.
"I know she's grown quite a bit," he said.
Amanda Shaw, 14, had no idea her dad was home from Iraq -- he was about to surprise her.
“My God - where is she at?” said Dylan Shaw.
Amanda Shaw quickly spotted her dad -- dressed in fatigues -- as he walked into the cafeteria at Artie Henry Middle School.
She ran to him, and they embraced while the other students burst into applause.
"Oh, I love you honey, I missed you," Dylan Shaw said to his daughter.
Dylan Shaw is in the middle of his fourth tour in Iraq and is only home for two weeks.
"Wow, look how tall she is!" he said.
He joined his daughter for lunch and later, she shared with us how this moment felt -- to see her dad safe and home from Iraq.
"Feels really good because I missed him a lot and it's really surprising to see him," said Amanda Shaw.
This soldier brought his daughter to tears and even brought his wife to tears while he explained how difficult it is to be away.
"In my book, she's the real hero,” Dylan Shaw said of his wife Ann. “She tells me about being proud of me, but I can't express enough. She handles everything."
Dylan Shaw will spend seven more months in Iraq before returning home again in December.
He said the hardest part is saying goodbye - and returning home is the best part.
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