WEST PALM BEACH (CBS4) – A South Florida family brought in the New Year with a special surprise, when a soldier was finally reunited with his loved ones.

Sergeant David Palma had been serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan for almost eight months.

The soldier left behind his mother, wife, and three daughters who had been anticipating his arrival.

“It’s his first deployment,” said Palma’s mother Cecilia Gil. “He misses his girls very much.”

Gil said her granddaughters missed their father just as much as she did, so she had been keeping them busy in the meanwhile.

“Took them to Disney, enjoyed some family time,” said Gil, but she kept the biggest secret to herself. “The girls have absolutely no clue their dad is coming home.”

Palma’s very excited family stood waiting for him at the Palm Beach International Airport, his little five-year old daughter, Leilani, bouncing around.

Leilani’s two younger sisters, Jade,2, and Maliyah, 1, may not have been old enough to comprehend what exactly was going on, but when their daddy got home there was nothing but cheers.

Even though Palma had nightly internet chats with his wife, Ashley, while he was away, no feeling is comparable to being home.

“It feels amazing, feels really good,” said Palma.


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