She'd been deployed for seven months.
In a precious moment caught on video, a soldier mother was reunited with her daughter and niece at a school awards assembly Friday in Texas.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Erica Gonzalez had been deployed in Kuwait and Iraq for seven months before the surprise moment at Timberview Middle School in Fort Worth.
Laura Gonzalez, 10, and Aubrie Gonzalez, 10 — both fifth graders — were clearly shocked as Gonzalez walked out with their awards while the pair waited on stage.
“It was awesome. It was so sweet when little Laura put her hands over her face," Timberview principal, Karrie Jackson, told InsideEdition.com. "She was so surprised it was so cool."
Gonzales said she knew Laura would love the surprise.
“My daughter was watching these military homecoming videos and she had mentioned to my mom and that it’d be great if she was surprised that way,” Gonzalez said. “I wanted to make her wish come true.”
Gonzalez said she was elated at her daughter’s reaction.
“It was an experience that I’ve never experienced," Gonzalez said. "Seeing the expression on her face, it was truly special. It was breathtaking."
Laura wasn't expecting her mom back for another week and Gonzales added that the time away has not been easy.
“It’s never a fun thing but the sacrifice is well worth it," Gonzalez said. "Nobody wants to be away from their family. It stinks and you miss home a lot and you miss valuable moments, especially as she is getting old."
Since she’s been back, Gonzalez is just taking the time to enjoy her family.
"They’ve been the backbone through all of this."