Army dad surprises daughter for Valentine's Day after returning from Afghanistan

Posted at 2:15 PM, Feb 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-15 15:15:37-05

LONG ISLAND, NY — Fifth grader Alexus London was in gym class doing push-ups when an unexpected Valentine's Day gift arrived.

Her father, Army Staff Sgt. Daniel London, had just returned from an eight-month deployment in Afghanistan before he surprised his 10-year-old daughter at William Rall Elementary School in Long Island, New York, with a bouquet of flowers.

Awestruck, Alexus ran across the room to hug and kiss her father.

"There's not words to explain how much I miss him," Alexus told ABC New York station WABC.

London, returning from his third deployment, told WABC he'd missed his daughter's fifth and 10th birthdays.

When Alexus was 2, he and her mother, Rosemary London, had even been deployed for 15 months, according to WABC.

"She's very strong, and it's made her very resilient," Rosemary London told WABC.

She said that Alexus misses her father every day.

"We make sure to send him packages and take care of him when he's over there, so I know that she's very happy," Rosemary London said. "And the fact that it happened for her on Valentine's Day, this is something that her future husband. ... It's very hard to top."