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Laredo Boy Reunited with His Military Dad for Christmas

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A kindergarten student from Laredo got one of the best Christmas gifts he could ever hope for when his dad surprised him at school after returning from Kuwait. Cristian Gonzalez had prayed for close to a year for the safe return of his dad, who was deployed to Kuwait for Operation Inherent Resolve. U.S. Army Sgt. George Gonzalez had returned home just prior to Christmas in order to surprise his son, and it went off without a hitch.

On Thursday, December 22, Cristian and his fellow five and six-year-old classmates were gathered together in the school library awaiting a visit from Santa. After his arrival and visit, each child was being handed a gift from his bag. Although Cristian waited patiently, his own little present failed to be produced like all the rest, and tears began to well in his eyes watching everyone around receive a gift. But, little did he know what was in store. Santa Claus reassured Cristian he hadn’t forgotten him, and he made a phone call to one of his elves, who told Christian that the gift was too large to be placed in the bag and it had to be stored at the librarian’s office.

When Cristian walked over to the office door to see what it was, it swung open, revealing his dad who had been eagerly waiting to surprise him. “My heart was racing. I was excited and nervous. I just wanted to see him already,” the elder Gonzalez said. Cristian’s eyes grew wide in disbelief at seeing his dad, and finally, they were in each other’s arms. Just prior to this reunion, Christian’s elementary school principal (also the Santa in question) had addressed the kindergarten class on the importance of being with family during the holidays. Both father and son were thrilled about being reunited, especially for Christmas, and the senior Gonzalez said he couldn’t wait to just spend time with his son. “I just want to be with him, that’s pretty much it,” he said. And, even though there were more gifts planned for Cristian at Christmas, he said that having his dad at home was the best gift he has ever been given.

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