Luca Cesternino, 9, got the shock of his life Monday night during Taekwondo in Tennessee.
His father, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Rob Cesternino, surprised him, as WSMV reported — home from a 10-month deployment in Jordan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom Spartan Shield and southern Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.
“I love you, and I’m so proud of you,” Rob Cesternino told his son, as The Lebanon Democrat reported. “You were such a big boy while I was gone.”
WZTV reported a blindfolded Luca didn’t know he was sparring with his dad until Rob called him by his nickname.
The happy boy may just continue the Cesternino tradition in the future.
“We are a military family,” the father of six said, as The Lebanon Democrat reported. “My family served in every single generation all the way back to World War I. It was expected in my family. I tell people that the military is a family business. I have a son that was in the Coast Guard; I have a son that was in the Navy; my daughter was in the Air Force. It’s just expected that you wear the uniform of your country. You don’t have to make it a career.”
He concluded, “The service — it’s important.”