A soldier from Southington had the surprise of a lifetime for his daughter and step-daughter on Monday.
Staff Sgt. Mike Howe returned home from a tour of duty overseas and surpised the girls at their schools. He first stopped at Southington High School and walked into his step-daughter Jasmyne's class.
It was then on to Flanders Elementary School to spring the surprise on his daughter, Madison, in her third-grade class.
"Daddy," Madison yelled as Howe walked in.
"I didn't want him to leave because I love him so much," she said.
Howe has served four tours of duty overseas, including two in Iraq. He returned Monday from 11 months in the Horn of Africa.
"I'm just so happy I got the chance to do this surprise and made it home safely, and looking forward to resuming my role as Dad again," Howe said.
Howe's wife, Izabella, reached out to the principals at both schools to set up the surprises.
"They did a fantastic job with it. All we had to do was show up," she said.