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The Telegram
  • Soldier surprises daughters at school

  • The end of the school day Thursday was anything but routine for two young girls at Fisher Elementary School.

    First grader Aylaa, 7, and third grader Magdalena Pellerito, 9, were sent into the school library shortly after 2 p.m. and found their dad, Army National Guard Captain John Pellerito, waiting for them.

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  • The end of the school day Thursday was anything but routine for two young girls at Fisher Elementary School.
    First grader Aylaa, 7, and third grader Magdalena Pellerito, 9, were sent into the school library shortly after 2 p.m. and found their dad, Army National Guard Captain John Pellerito, waiting for them.
    Capt. Pellerito had just returned from Kuwait and it was the first time the girls had seen him in nearly eight months.
    The girls looked a bit uncertain as to what was going on when they entered the room, but responded quickly when their father stepped out from his hiding place.
    “It’s Daddy!” one of the girls shouted and the two raced into his arms.
    Their mother, Anna, said the original plans called for her husband to return in August, but when the schedule changed he wanted to surprise the girls at school. That meant keeping the change in plans a secret and making some last minute calls to teachers once they were sure Capt. Pellerito could make it to the school before classes ended for the day.
    After spending a few minutes with the girls in the library, he accompanied them both to their classrooms where he briefly spoke to the students.
    Pellerito said he is regularly stationed at Fort Drum, but was deployed to Arifjan, Kuwait, where he was a battle captain and served as chief of operations.
    He was in the desert, he told the students, but was not there for the worst of the extreme heat.
    His daughters gathered their things quickly and seemed eager to get their dad home.
    Magdalena said she thought it would have been great if he had arrived on a helicopter while Aylaa said her dream was to have him come in on a unicorn. Both seemed happy, though, just to have him safely home no matter what the mode of transportation had been.
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