Sergeant First Class Robert Lange, from Ankeny, Iowa, has been separated from his family for seven months now.
He’s serving overseas in the Middle East. This is 2nd tour of duty.
He has missed the family milestones, like his 9-year-old daughter Mikayla’s cheer team qualifying for nationals.
All the parents gathered over the weekend to send the girls off, and the dads even learned a cheer to perform for their daughters, bringing down the house with a surprise routine.
But then there was a moment just for Mikayla as they brought her up and said that all of the dads that just performed were also her dad.
They lined up and handed Mikayla an American flag and flowers.
And afterwards, with those flowers and flags in hand, there was one more surprise.
Mikayla’s dad, Sergeant Lange was on the video screen as he ran over to the rest of his unit in the Middle East.
They had all been rehearsing and learning a routine just for Mikayla.
More than a dozen soldiers, all in formation, danced along to the cheer music, with cartwheels and then the lifts as everyone was watching back home.
And when it was over, there were hugs for Mikayla from her team, while mom wiped away her own tears.
Mikayla explained how it felt for my dad to be on the big screen.
“It felt amazing! But at first I was bawling my eyes out, and then I figured oh wait, that’s cheer music,” explained Mikayla. “And I looked up at the screen and my dad was doing cartwheels and it probably took him a month to learn. And I love you daddy, and I can’t wait to see you when you get home and I love you. And thank you Koach family for doing everything for me and being so supportive while my dad is gone.”