Soldier surprises daughter on stage at back-to-school dance - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Soldier surprises daughter on stage at back-to-school dance

Posted:
(Courtesy Barberito Photography) (Courtesy Barberito Photography)

Courtesy ABC News
By Eliza Murphy

When Tayla Carrigan, a freshman at St. Mary's Dominican High School in New Orleans, was called up on stage during a back-to-school dance to receive a surprise award from the student body, she was already shocked enough.

Little did she know, however, there was no real award. Rather, her mother and the school had arranged a surprise reunion with her father, Sgt. Kelly Carrigan, whom she hadn't seen since April when he was deployed to Afghanistan.

"I always wanted to do something special for my girls," Tayla's mother, Danielle Carrigan, toldGoodMorningAmerica.com. "I just didn't know what because we never knew when he was coming home."

Serviceman Surprises Son as a Belated Birthday Present

A serious knee injury forced Kelly home from his deployment early, stationing him only four hours away from his family at Fort Polk.

"It was totally out of left field," said Danielle, 35, of Metairie, La. "The doctor in Afghanistan sent him to Germany to get an MRI because he probably needed surgery, but then that doctor sent him home to Fort Polk."

Tayla and her younger sister, Logan, 11, were aware their father had been injured and moved to Germany, but had no clue he had been moved again much closer to home.

Seizing the perfect opportunity to surprise the girls, Kelly and Danielle decided to keep it a secret and worked with the school to arrange the perfect moment.

"The Dominican school body was just unbelievable," said Danielle. "They set everything up, they made up the award, they planned it all out. It was so perfect."

Parachutist Proposes at Chicago Air and Water Show

As Tayla's father stepped out on stage, there were more than 800 students singing "Proud to Be an American" in the background, going along with the school's patriotic-themed dance.

"It was very touching," Danielle said. "They were singing and clapping and crying. They were so supportive and wonderful. It was just so special."

Kelly will continue to be stationed at Fort Polk indefinitely until his injury is considered 100 percent healed, which is good news for the family as they'll be able to see him most weekends.

And as for the surprise moment that left both Tayla and her father in tears, Danielle said she couldn't have asked for better.

"No matter how it turned out, I wanted it to be a big deal for them," she said. "It met that expectation and then some."

Read on ABC News

  • Training Aimed At Building Stronger Cases Against Suspected Child Abusers

    Training Aimed At Building Stronger Cases Against Suspected Child Abusers

    Friday, July 25 2014 12:10 AM EDT2014-07-25 04:10:34 GMT
    Several dozen professionals are taking part in a two day training seminar put on by the Department Of Family Protective Services. The professionals are learning techniques that will help them make better cases against those suspected of child abuse.More >>
    Several dozen professionals are taking part in a two day training seminar put on by the Department Of Family Protective Services. The professionals are learning techniques that will help them make better cases against those suspected of child abuse.More >>
  • Man Indicted For Fatal Punch

    Man Indicted For Fatal Punch

    Friday, July 25 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-25 04:07:27 GMT
    A Nueces County grand jury has indicated a man accused of fatally punching another man at a local strip club in April of this year. The victim later died from his injuries.More >>
    A Nueces County grand jury has indicated a man accused of fatally punching another man at a local strip club in April of this year. The victim later died from his injuries.More >>
  • Minimum Wage - Does it Make Cents?

    Minimum Wage - Does it Make Cents?

    Friday, July 25 2014 12:03 AM EDT2014-07-25 04:03:27 GMT
    By executive order, President Obama is increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. The President hopes to have the private sector follow suit with the pay increase. Meanwhile, the debate continues as to whether the increase would actually help or hinder American workers and our economy.We examine three reasons the increase is good, and three reasons it is not so good in a 3News Special Report: Minimum Wage - Does it Make Cents?More >>
    By executive order, President Obama is increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. The President hopes to have the private sector follow suit with the pay increase. Meanwhile, the debate continues as to whether the increase would actually help or hinder American workers and our economy.We examine three reasons the increase is good, and three reasons it is not so good in a 3News Special Report: Minimum Wage - Does it Make Cents?More >>