Whittier, CA – Neveah and Adrien Ramirez, a third-grader and first-grader at Ada S. Nelson Elementary School, hadn’t seen their Army Specialist father for more than a year when he surprised them Nov. 10 with an early reunion during a school-sponsored Family Movie Night.

Nevaeh and Adrien were stunned when father Christopher Ramirez returned home early from his South Korea deployment and embraced them in front of an applauding audience of Nelson teachers, parents and students.

“They were not expecting me until around Thanksgiving, so they were pretty shocked,” Christopher said. “A year is a long time to be away from your family, and to be able to surprise my kids like this and hug them is a great reward.”

Christopher’s wife, Trisha, planned the surprise with Nelson Principal Marla Duncan. Nelson students and their families were set to watch the film Angry Birds on a projector outside the school when Duncan called Nevaeh and Adrien to the front of the screening. While Duncan asked the students about their father, Christopher emerged from behind the projector setting off hugs and applause.

“This was something Trisha wanted to do for the kids, and it was special that our Nelson family got to be a part of it,” Duncan said. “We share with our students about the sacrifices made by our armed forces, and we were able to celebrate it together one day before Veterans Day.”

Family Movie Night is an annual free event hosted by Nelson that brings together the Los Nietos community and honors the tight-knit history of the District. Concession sales raise funds for Nelson students.

“The Ramirez family reunion was a great moment for our entire District that showcased our appreciation for our armed forces and the emphasis we place on family,” Los Nietos Superintendent Jonathan Vasquez said. “It was a great example of love and sacrifice to show our kids and a reminder of what makes our community so great.”


111816_LOSNIETOS_VETERANSDAY1: Army Specialist Christopher Ramirez surprised his daughter Nevaeh and son Adrien by returning home early from deployment and showing up at Ada S. Nelson’s Family Movie Night on Nov. 10.