Military Dad Surprises Daughter, 7, at School Assembly in Emotional Video

She wasn't expecting her dad home for a few more weeks.

A Pennsylvania second-grader has been reunited with her military dad in an emotional reunion caught on video.

Army Captain Erik Nowak had been deployed in Qatar for seven months and his daughter, 7-year-old Imogen Nowak, wasn’t expecting to see her dad again for a few weeks.

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So the little girl was shocked when Novak crept up behind her at school assembly put together to say thank you to the students after they packaged up candy to send to Novak and his unit.

As Imogen was speaking at the assembly at Osborne Elementary, she was taken by complete surprise as she turned around to see her father.

“She was in shock for about the first ten seconds and then she jumped into my arms. The emotion of the event kind of overwhelmed her,” Nowak told

Nowak and his wife had been planning the surprise when the school jumped on board and came up with the idea for the assembly. Nowak said the moment was worth it all since being away for so long wasn’t easy.

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"It was long. And around the holidays it’s a little harder because you’re away," Nowak said. "The smaller moments like when you get to talk to them get you through."

He said the moment he laid eyes on his daughter at the assembly was everything he wanted.

"It was just really touching to know how much she missed me," Nowak said. "All I wanted to do was hold her. I could tell she didn’t want to let me go."

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