Local soldier returns home early, surprises his daughter

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Avery Messerley, a first grade student in Rockingham County, was expecting her father to come home for her birthday in a month. However, he had a surprise for her.

Multiple teachers filmed the moment when Sgt. Masserley surprised his daughter.

Her dad, Sergeant Scott Messerley, had been deployed in South Korea for about a year.

Avery was focused on her class at Cub Run Elementary on Thursday afternoon. But out of nowhere, Sgt. Messerley snuck up behind his daughter.

"Probably in as much shock as she was," Sgt. Messerley said. "She turned, we just kind of stared at each other. I was in shock. I didn't know what to say."

Avery was the first one to speak when she let out, "Daddy," before hugging her dad.

"She loves her dad. She's very in love with her dad," Amy Messerley, Avery's mom, said. "She always wants to spend time with him. So I knew she would be really surprised because she asks about him every single day."

Sgt. Messerley is home for now, excited to do the little things with Avery, like play hide-and-seek.

"I don't know if words can really describe it. It's one of those things I just enjoy doing," Sgt. Messerley said. "Being able to do it with her again after a year was a lot of fun."

Avery is not the only person excited for Sgt. Messerley to come home.

"He's a good dad. I'm thankful for him," Amy said. "He takes good care of her. When he comes up here, he can do everything."

The Messerley family is reunited and no one is more excited than Avery.

"I love him. I like being with my mommy and my daddy," Avery said. "Together."