MCALLEN, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — The anticipation for family and friends was building. Finally, he arrived.
Air Force Master Sergeant Chris Kauffmann returned to his native McAllen on Friday. He'd been in Afghanistan for the past six months.
His youngest daughter was just three months old the last time he was on American soil. She's a mature ten months old now. Although she needed a reminder of who dad is.
"I kind of knew that was going to happen because she was so young when I left," Kauffmann said. "It's amazing how big they get in such a short period of time. It's bittersweet, it's just great to be home."
Kauffmann wasn't expecting to see dozens of his loved ones greet him at McAllen International Airport. His dad Rodger organized the entire event.
"He doesn't know. This is certainly going to be a surprise for him," Rodger said. "This is really a big surprise. He doesn't know any of this is going to be here."
It's going to be a memorable Father's day weekend for both Kauffmanns
Chris will stay in town and spend it with family. He'll then go on a family vacation starting next week with Lexi, 12-year-old Areli and his wife Angie.
"Where do you go when you get back from Afghanistan? Disneyworld!" Rodger proclaimed. "So they're heading out to Disneyworld on Monday."
After spending 14 years in the Air Force and winning three medals for his work, it's hard to beat being at the happiest place on Earth.