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Soldier surprises daughter at school

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Albany/HV: Soldier surprises daughter at school
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One little girl gets the surprise of her lifetime at school this Wednesday, when her father visits her at school. Our Matt Hunter has more.

SARATOGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- "There's nothing easy about it, it's all hard, everything's a challenge," Staff Sgt. Michael Olmstead, U.S. Army Military Police.

14 months: that's how long Staff Sergeant Michael Olmstead has spent stationed in South Korea, thousands of miles from the comforts of home and his wife, Katherine and daughters Robyn and Chloe.

"You don't ever get used to it, no," said Sgt. Olmstead.

"My younger daughter, she's 10 years old, she's had a very, very hard time with this," said Katherine Olmstead, Mother.

"We would have issues and he wouldn't be there to help us through it," said Chloe Olmstead, Daughter.

Serving in both the reserves and on active duty; Olmstead's career spans 14 years.

On Wednesday he was treated to one of those rare gifts: a flight home and an end to that lonely time apart.

"I'm speechless, excited," said Katherine.

"I'm very anxious, I just want him to be here now," said Robyn Olmstead, Daughter.

"I was tearing up on the plane, as soon as I saw Albany and I saw the skyline I started tearing up," said Sgt. Olmstead. "As soon as I saw these two, words can't describe it."

Wrapped in each other's arms, three-quarters of the Olmstead family rejoiced in each other's company. Only one thing was missing, Chloe.

"She thinks he's coming home on the 16th and not today so she has no idea this is going on," Katherine added.

For Chloe, who sat in an elementary school library 15 miles north, the day brought little in terms of expectations but a light tap on her shoulder from a familiar face brought a sudden end to her sadness.

"It was really surprising because I thought he was supposed to come home on the 16th," said Chloe.

"I hate seeing her cry but this is a good cry, right?" Sgt. Olmstead said.

After 14 months apart, the Olmstead family is once again whole.

Michael is guaranteed time at home for at least six months: six months he has every intention of savoring.

"I've got a lot of making up to do. 14 months to make up for, like I said, I'll never be able to make that up but the time we have together we'll make the best of it," he said.

"I'm feeling really happy to see him and I can't wait to do everything with him," Chloe added. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP