A 4-year old girl got to see something much better than Shamu and dolphins during a trip to SeaWorld in Orlando. She was surprised by her military father who was returning home from Afghanistan.
Army Spc. Eric Espinosa and his wife teamed up with SeaWorld for the surprise as he came home from a year-long deployment.
Little Alexis, of Cocoa Beach, saw herself on the jumbo display screen during one of the park's shows as her father, dressed in full uniform, walked up behind her. Her grandmother lifted her up and turned her around and Alexis immediately ran into her father's arms and put her head on his shoulder.
"It's one of the one in a million thoughts, that you can't really explain," Espinosa told News 13. "But I just, when she was getting off that chair, I couldn't wait to pick her up."
Spc. Espinosa chose to surprise his daughter at SeaWorld as it's one of her favorite places. He knew it would be a surprise she would never forget. "She loves Shamu," Espinosa said. "So, like I said, this is the best place to surprise her."
Espinosa is an Army combat engineer with the 689th Battalion. He was doing routine clearance in Afghanistan but his responsibilities including fidning and defusing or detonating improvided explosive devices (IEDs).
As part of a tribute to all of the military service members in the crowd, SeaWorld sponsored the reunion between Espinosa and his daughter.