JANUARY 8, 2013 - A father and daughter reunite after a year of him serving our country in Afghanistan. Following over a month of planning, with the help of family and friends, 16 year old Katie Yates could not have been more surprised.
After her Dad unexpectedly appeared at Kasey's Home Cooking Buffet in Tallahassee, Katie says "it's a great feeling to have him home." When asked if she had any idea, she simply said "no."
What Katie thought was going to be a birthday party for one of her friends, turned out to be so much more. U.S. Army Sergeant First Class, Lance Hines says "I just called her a few minutes ago and told her I just landed in Mississippi...so she thought I was in Mississippi."
This is not the first homecoming but the third for Sergeant Hines and his family and Katie's Mom, Keila Horton, wanted to make sure this time was one she'll always remember.
Keila Horton admits "he's missed so much and I really wanted her to be over the top thrilled, not just being with everybody else when the unit came home, which we've done many times, but for her to have her own special moment with her Daddy."
Sergeant Hines admits he missed Katie's 16th birthday and a few other big events over the past year but plans to make up for it now that he is home.
Katie is looking forward to finally being able to drive her Dad around town not that she is 16 and Sergeant Hines is looking forward to a home cooked meal with his kids.