A tender video of a little girl running to hug her soldier father whom she hadn't seen in over eight months has gone viral, warming hearts across America.
ABC News reports that Lt. Daniel Oglesby was among 300 Army soldiers who returned to Fort Carson on Tuesday after a lengthy deployment. As usual, the soldiers were asked to stand in formation for a formal welcome before their commander dismissed them to greet their loved ones.
However, two-year-old Karis Oglesby couldn't wait one more minute, and ran out of the crowd and across the floor to greet her daddy.
A video caught the heartwarming moment, as the little girl ran gymnasium in her sparkling gold boots and red, white and blue outfit. When she got to her dad, he bent down and gave her a hug before nudging her to go back over to her seat. Little Karis then skipped back to her mother, her hands joyfully lifted in the air in the viral video.
"I wasn't worried about maintaining the integrity of the formation," 1st Lt. Oglesby told ABC News. "The homecoming ceremony is all about our families who've had to sacrifice eight, almost nine, months without their loved ones. I was so happy to see my awesome little girl."
The 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division had been deployed in southwest Asia, FOX 21 News reports.
The 33-year-old husband and father-of-two told the news outlet that he just came back in time for Karis' 3rd birthday.
"If you thought she was excited to see me, just wait until when we go to Chuckie Cheese or the North Pole tomorrow," he joked. ABC notes that North Pole is a local amusement park in Colorado Springs.
He added that the toddler's hug was a welcome surprise: "I had left in February, and we were close, but I wasn't sure how much she would remember me and what her reaction would be when I came back," he said. "I was so happy that she was excited to see me -- so excited that she couldn't even wait for the quick ceremony to be over first."
Oglesby said it is difficult to be away from his wife and two little girls, but it's all worth it.
"Being gone for eight months-it's tough. But once you see the look on their faces when you get back makes it worth it," he told local station WQAD.
He added, "Whatever I can do to make up for the lost time, I'll do. Whatever they want, I'll get it for them."