National Guardsman surprises daughters at school after return from Iraq

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SOUTH FARMINGDALE -

An Army National Guardsman returned from Iraq and set out on a new mission today: surprise his three young daughters at school in South Farmingdale.

Capt. Anthony Telesca just returned from a nine-month deployment. He headed to Woodward Parkway Elementary School in South Farmingdale to surprise his children.

His first stop was his daughter Avery's kindergarten class. Next up was his oldest daughter Gianna's classroom – she's in third grade. Then Telesca paid a visit to the second-grade class of his daughter Juliet. 

As a surprise to Telesca, students from kindergarten through third grade lined up in the hallway to give him and his family a standing ovation as they headed home together.

"The clap-out through the hallway, we do that for our fifth-graders when they leave to go to middle school, and we know that they really love that. So we figured we would try to recreate the same kind of feeling for Capt. Telesca," says Patrick Klocek, of Woodward Parkway Elementary School.

Telesca says seeing his children brought tears to his eyes. 

"It was an amazing feeling, to be away from them for nine months and just being able to video chat with them and hear their voices is great. But having them here in person and being able to hold them, is a feeling I can't even express of how much I miss them," he said.

Telesca's wife, Allie, planned the surprise with the help of the school. 

"I thought maybe we could add a little bit to it," she says. "And it was a surprise, pretty much I didn't tell anyone."

The three girls didn't leave their dad's side after they saw him. 

Capt. Telesca says after serving in Iraq for nine months, he's home now for good.

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