WESTON, Fla. -

A U.S. soldier returned from Afghanistan and surprised his daughter who attends Cypress Bay High School.

The Sun Sentinel reports that John Ballesteros had been deployed in Afghanistan for the past nine months.

His daughter Laura Ballesteros had just finished her last performance with her school’s colorguard team at a competition in Dayton, Ohio. She thought her father wouldn’t be there to see her.

Afterward, the team’s coach read a letter from Laura’s father that read in part, “American soldiers don’t fight because they hate what’s in front of them, but because they love what's behind them.”

After the letter was read, Laura’s father appeared behind her.

Laura and her teammates finished fourth in the scholastic open division competition held at the University of Dayton.

Laura told the Sun Sentinel the best part for her was seeing that her father was safe and back home.