10/11/2011 05:35 pm ET Updated Dec 11, 2011

Soldier Surprises Daughter At Spelling Bee While Back From Iraq (VIDEO)

When 9-year-old Skylar Johnson stepped on stage for her school spelling bee, little did she know that she would be receiving a special surprise.

Her father, National Guard Staff Sergeant Therron Johnson, was back from Iraq for nine days, and he was standing behind the curtain, waiting to greet his daughter in front of everyone, the WPTV reports.

Father and daughter cried as they held each other in a warm embrace onstage.

"I kept thinking the whole time, 'I wish my dad could be here or someone,' and then there he was," Skylar told the Sun Sentinel in a video interview. "I cried, my heart was beating, and I was shaking inside and a little outside. I just couldn't believe it."

Staff at the Boca Raton, Fla., elementary school spent three weeks helping the sergeant plan the reunion. As a thank you, Sergeant Johnson presented the school with a flag that flew over Iraq.

Sgt. Johnson later went to his son, Christian's, middle school to surprise him, WPTV reports.

Watch the heartwarming reunion above. To hear what Sergeant Johnson was feeling before his reveal, view the Sun Sentinel's full interview.