A soldier's story, a daughter's surprise

The Kundinger family. (Source: Katie Kundinger)

By Dean

Charleston, SC (WCIV) - Talk about being upstaged. It wasn't a high school stage performance that left an audience stunned, but the surprise return of an Army Lieutenant Colonel.

The plan came together more easily than the 1,000-piece puzzle spread out on the Kundinger family table.

LTC Bill Kundinger's been in the military spotlight for the past year, deployed with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. His return home was slated for May.

"He was going to miss my birthday, going miss my play. I was kind of disappointed, but none of that was true," said Erin Kundinger, a 10th grader at Bishop England High School.

That's because Bill Kundinger's plans changed like a spring flower.

GALLERY: Soldier returns home to surprise daughter during school play

"I was able to get back into South Carolina on Saturday, just in time for a play that Erin was a part of at Bishop England," he said. "My heart was racing. I was listening at the door for my cue."

"When our lead actor made the announcement, we were all really confused. We thought it was a celebrity," said Erin Kundinger. "When I saw him it just kind of hit me. I think I just broke down in tears. I don't know what my facial expression was."

"It was good that she turned around, because I was going to just turn and grab the nearest nun. I had to wait and take my time," said Bill Kundinger.

"A lot of people after the play said that's a thing you only see on TV or like on Facebook or YouTube (and) they got to see it in real life," said Erin Kundinger.

With her dad's deployment behind them, it's time now for this family to be together. They're putting together another masterpiece.

But for now, the Kundingers agree -- it's perfect when a plan, or a puzzle, comes together.