A Willow Springs Elementary School student received a special surprise when her father appeared at her class after returning from a deployment overseas on Wednesday.
U.S. Army Capt. Shavayey Cato turned an ordinary school day to a moment to remember by the surprise homecoming after spending the last year deployed to Camp Buehring, Kuwait, with the Army’s Area Support Group in Kuwait as a logistics officer.
Cato told his 8-year-old daughter, Allyson, a second-grader at Willow Springs, he would return from overseas in February, but arrived in January to make the surprise visit.
“I really wanted to surprise her,” Cato said. “I just like to go above and beyond for my daughter.”
Cato said the last time he’d seen his daughter was in July when he was on leave during his mid-deployment break.
“I’ve missed her, but now I’m back here and I get to see her more often, so it feels great,” Cato said.
Cato said he has a lot of activities planned out now that he’s home and with his daughter.
“I’ve got season passes to Six Flags and SeaWorld, that’s my surprise for her and we’re just going to have a lot of fun,” Cato said. “Being in the military is kind of tough because you’re always deployed, and I want to use this time to do more with her and be more of a father.”
Cato said what he missed most about his daughter was her personality.
“She’s a goofy person but she’s also very intelligent, too, I just miss going to the library with her and listening to her laugh,” Cato said.
Cato said his first plans with his daughter after the reunion was to spend lunch with his daughter and go bowling.
“I asked her what she wanted to do when I come back, and she said she loved bowling,” Cato said.
This was Cato’s third deployment; his last deployment was to Iraq in 2011 while stationed at Fort Hood. His next assignment will be as an instructor for the University of Texas San Antonio Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corp in San Antonio.