1010 WINS-A Pennsylvania soldier returned home after months of active duty to surprise his son, Jaziah, at his elementary school’s Veterans Day celebration.

Corporal Rogelio Morales surprised students, especially his son, in his Bethlehem, PA community while they celebrated Veterans Day early on Thursday (11/9).

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Kayla White, Jaziah’s mother, tells 1010 WINS that she thought of the idea to surprise her son with his father’s homecoming after receiving a note from the school asking the kids to participate in this year’s Veterans Day tribute by thanking local veterans in their families and sending letters to soldiers they’ve never met.

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“I filled out Roger’s [Corporal Morales] name and wrote a note on the bottom saying, ‘Shh… Jaziah’s daddy is coming home! It’s a surprise,’ and his teacher passed it along to the principal and the superintendent contacted me. They thought it would be great.”

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Morales arrived home from Fort Hood, TX a week prior to the surprise, staying at his mother-in-law’s house and communicating with Jaziah on Facetime while wandering the neighborhood to ensure he wasn’t found out.


Now home with his family, Morales will officially retire next month after being involved in a tragic training accident in June of 2016 when an Army truck overturned in a flood killing nine of his fellow soldiers. Morales suffered leg, back, chest and head injuries in the mishap, and continues to deal with PTSD from the incident to this day.

Morales says he’s lucky to be alive and is overjoyed to be back home with his “little man.”

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-Joe Cingrana