Third grader Gavin Masterson was walking down a school hallway when a man in an Army uniform caught his attention.
That man standing only feet away was his father, Dave, who had just returned home after serving with the Army Reserves in a 10-month deployment.
With his arms wide open, Gavin quickly took those last few steps and embraced his dad in a tearful homecoming hug, as seen in a video recorded by the West Plains School District.
The district took to Facebook to share the “heartwarming moment at West Plains Elementary,” which took place on Thursday, Jan. 27.
Following the emotional reunion, Dave Masterson spoke to KOLR regarding the improvised moment.
“We set it up to surprise him coming out of lunch. There was a lot of anticipation waiting for him to come out,” he told the TV station. “When he finally did and he saw me, he almost didn’t recognize me. I think I was crying before we hugged.”
West Plains is about 110 miles southeast of Springfield.
© 2022 The Charlotte Observer
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.