Rob Cesternino was away from his home for 10 months and when he came back from deployment, he decided to surprise his nine-year-old son, Luca Cesternino.
Watch the soldier father surprising his son during his taekwondo session
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Rob arrived at Success Martial Arts Centre in Lebanon, Tennessee during his son’s taekwondo session.
His son was blindfolded and had no idea that who was his sparring partner. He swung punches at his sparring partner and towards the end of the training routine, Rob uttered ‘Hey Shib’.
Rob used to call Luca ‘Shib’ when he was a child. He immediately recognized who it was and replied with, “Daddy?”
Luca broke into tears after he removed his blindfold and hugged his father tightly.
Rob told Luca: “I love you, and I’m so proud of you. You were such a big boy while I was gone”.
Luca told a local newspaper: “I was, like, wow! Everybody came here to see my dad and me. It’s just excitement. I felt joy in my heart – I will never leave his side.”
Rob’s local community also welcomed him by decorating Lebanon Square and other areas of the city with yellow ribbons.
Rob thanked his wife, Leah who planned the surprise and helped the community to welcome Rob back. Rob said that a spouse of a service member lives a more challenging life as they have to raise the kids and look after the family all alone.
He said: “The person we both have to thank is Luca’s mom and my wife, Leah. It starts and ends with her – she makes us better.”
“If you are a husband or a wife of a service member, if you are a child of a service member, they deserve more applause than we get, because they have a tougher row to hoe.”
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