HAYS COUNTY, Texas -- It's safe to say a 6-year-old named Clarissa got the best birthday gift this year.
After 400 days away in service, her dad -- a local soldier -- surprised Clarissa at her school on Tuesday. And KVUE's Michael Perchick was there at Ralph Pfluger Elementary School in Buda to capture it all on camera.
In a Facebook live video posted to KVUE's page, Perchick stood in front of Clarissa's eager classmates and told them that KVUE was there "because we were told that you all are the best readers in all of Hays County, so we're really excited to do a little story on you guys today."
After some banter, Perchick starts to explain that he is going to interview each of Clarissa's classmates individually, starting with Clarissa. That's when her dad, Corporal Eric Salinas, walked in the room. We'll let the video speak for itself:
Prior to the surprise Tuesday morning, Eric's wife, Maria Salinas, emailed KVUE an invitation to the homecoming. She said Clarissa "has had a very rough time through all this and her daddy being gone." Eric was supposed to surprise Clarissa for her 7th birthday, which is Wednesday. But Perchick said they decided to celebrate Tuesday because Eric couldn't wait any longer.
"... With everything going on in the world it's a reminder that we're all in this together," Maria said.