Soldier returns from deployment, surprises son at Taekwondo class

(WHDH) — A soldier returning home for a heartwarming reunion in Tennessee surprised his son after nearly a year overseas.

Staff Sgt. Rob Cesternino and his wife set up the surprise at their son Luca’s Taekwondo class.

The 9-year-old boy thought he was facing off against his instructors while blindfolded. He didn’t realize who he was punching — until his father called him by his nickname.

“Come on, Chip, is that all you got?” Rob asked his son.

“Daddy?” Luca replied, pulling off the blindfolds before leaping in for a big hug.

Cesternino had been serving in Jordan and Syria since last May.

“It’s tough,” he said. “We don’t give enough thought of how difficult that is on the families.”

Luca expressed his happiness at having his dad back home after such a long time.

“Excitement,” he said. “I feel joy in my heart. I’m never gonna leave his side.”

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