Military Family Reunited on 'GMA'

ABC News Blogs

A "Christmas miracle" came true on " Good Morning America" today when a U.S. Army captain was reunited with his family after nearly a year away on deployment.

Capt. Gerardo Garcia has been deployed four times to Afghanistan. His most recent deployment kept him away from his family in California - wife Andrea and kids Marc, 10, Ali, 6, and Andres, 3 - for nearly a year.

While Garcia has been away fighting on the frontlines, Andrea Garcia has held down the fort at home, acting as a single parent while also going to school to obtain her nursing degree.

READ MORE: Navy Reservist Surprises Son at Home Dressed as Darth Vader

"Their dad's a role model for them there and I need to be a role model for them here," she told "GMA." "It was important for me to go to school and better myself and they can see that mommy can make a difference while their dad's gone."

Although Andrea Garcia describes the situation as "hard," the multitasking mom did find time to plan the surprise of a lifetime for her husband.

Capt. Garcia has been based at Ft. Huachuca in Cochise County, Ariz., since his return from Afghanistan. While he knew he'd be home for the holidays, his family decided to give him an early Christmas surprise by traveling to the base from their California home.

READ MORE: Soldier Surprises Family at South Carolina Football Game

Andrea Garcia and the couple's children surprised Capt. Garcia on "GMA" while he thought he was in front of the cameras to tape a holiday "hoo-ah" to his fellow soldiers still in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Elaborate posts on Facebook, that's exactly what I did to take off this plan," Andrea Garcia said after the successful surprise. "And, luckily, he trusts me so much that it was very believable."

While his wife and kids beamed beside him, Capt. Garcia himself was speechless.

"I don't have anything to say because I'm totally caught off guard right now," he said. "I'm still kind of shocked, believe it or not. I think of all the things we've done in the last year, this is probably the most chaotic one."

The Garcias said they are looking forward to the weekend pancake breakfasts and the little moments they've missed in the past year.

"They don't get to see their dad in the morning or to say, 'Hi, how was your day?' or get their dad to make them pancakes that he used to every Sunday," Andrea Garcia told "GMA." "[The] things that normal parents do for their kids."

For daughter Ali, 6, seeing her dad this Christmas might top even a visit from Santa Claus.

"This is a Christmas miracle," she said.

View Comments (188)

Recommended for You

  • Key Issues Unresolved as Iran Nuclear Talks Continue Past Deadline

    Foreign negotiators, working beyond a Tuesday deadline, are optimistic that an agreement can be drafted on a nuclear accord with Iran -- with a focus on narrowing down differences between the parties. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, speaking to reporters, said “a broad framework of…

    Good Morning America25 mins ago
  • The Pet Rock Captured a Moment and Made Its Creator a Millionaire

    Gary Ross Dahl devised the perfect pet. Dahl’s Pet Rock was a key innovation of the 1970s, tongue-in-cheek humor for a post-Watergate world, a pop culture fad that made its creator lots of money -- and continued to draw bemused attention in the decades that followed. Dahl, whose death was…

    Good Morning America26 mins ago
  • Netanyahu Slams Iran Nuclear Talks, Calls for 'Better Deal'

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped up his opposition to the ongoing nuclear talks between Iran, the United States and its European allies, saying it was "time for the international community to insist on a better deal.""A better deal would significantly roll back Iran's nuclear…

    Good Morning America
  • Joni Mitchell Rushed to Hospital After Being Found Unconscious

    Legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell was rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital Tuesday after being found unconscious in her home, according to a statement posted to her official website. Mitchell regained consciousness during the ambulance ride to the hospital, and despite being in intensive…

    Good Morning America
  • 5 Things to Know This Morning

    Legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell was rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital Tuesday after being found unconscious in her home, according to a statement posted to her official website. Andrew Getty, the 47-year-old grandson of J. Paul Getty and an heir to the family's oil fortune, died…

    Good Morning America
  • Andrew Getty, J. Paul Getty's Grandson, Found Dead in Los Angeles Home

    Andrew Getty, the 47-year-old grandson of J. Paul Getty and an heir to the family's oil fortune, died Tuesday at his Los Angeles home, his parents confirmed in a statement. "The family has requested that members of the media and the public respect its privacy during this extremely difficult time,"…

    Good Morning America
  • Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Says He 'Could Have Handled' Religious Freedom Law Better

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence today admitted that he mishandled the passage of a religious freedom law and now wants a piece of legislation to clarify that it does not give anyone the right to discriminate in the state. His comments came hours before the state House of Representatives in Arkansas passed…

    Good Morning America
  • Comedy Central Defends 'Daily Show' Host Trevor Noah Over Tweets

    Comedy Central is standing by new "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah. Just one day after the network announced that Noah would be replacing Jon Stewart on the show, the 31-year-old comedian has come under fire for tweets referencing Jewish people and women.

    Good Morning America
  • 1,000-Year-Old Eye Infection Salve May Kill MRSA Super Bug, Study Shows

    A relatively new super bug may have met its match in a 1,000-year-old eye treatment, according to researchers from the University of Nottingham. The recipe to cure eye infections comes from "Bald’s Leechbook," an old English leather-bound tome that was buried deep within the British Library in…

    Good Morning America
  • Coast Guard Rescues 9 Crew Members From Tourist Pirate Ship in Stormy Waters

    The Coast Guard endured rough seas and gusting winds to rescue nine crewmen from a disabled tourist pirate ship called Liana's Ransom that was stranded off the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Watchstanders were notified at 12:35 a.m. Monday that the Canadian tall ship's engines were disabled…

    Good Morning America
  • New Allegations Against FLDS Church: Former Police Chief Says He Feared Church Leaders

    A former police chief who served the twin towns that the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints dominates is coming forward for the first time, claiming he lived in fear that Warren Jeffs and other church leaders would take his family away if he didn’t do their bidding. “This community has…

    Good Morning America
  • Bouncing Baby Girls Are Utterly Delighted By Mom's Singing

    In the video, their mom, Lola Adebayo, is humming the tune to the British show, “EastEnders,” which is the babies’ grandmother’s favorite show. “They're used to watching the show when we would visit,” Adebayo told ABC News of her twins, Amel and Amira.

    Good Morning America
  • Amazon Dash Lets You Push Physical Button to Buy

    Amazon is bringing its one-click ordering system to everyday life with the introduction of the Amazon Dash button. While the thought of pressing a "Tide" button on your washer to re-order more detergent may seem like an early April Fool's Day joke, Amazon said the service is real and will be…

    Good Morning America
  • Vin Diesel Teases a Possible 'Furious 8' Coming

    On Monday's Jimmy Kimmel Live!, "Furious 7" star Vin Diesel promoted the seventh movie in the franchise -- and hinted that despite some rumors to the contrary, an eighth "Fast and the Furious" movie is in the offing. In the same way they teased Jason Statham's character at the end of "Fast 6,"…

    Good Morning America
  • Sam Smith Plans to Use His Grammys as Doorstops

    Sam Smith won four Grammys nearly two months ago, but he says he still can't believe that it happened -- mostly because the recording academy hasn't actually sent him his trophies yet. See, the Grammys you see artists posing with backstage the night of the show are just props: The real ones, with…

    Good Morning America
  • Zayn Malik Releases 1st Solo Song After One Direction

    Zayn Malik is wasting no time. The low-key ballad, which features Malik's hypnotic vocals over a simple acoustic guitar, is titled "I Won't Mind." It was released on Soundcloud and, later, YouTube on Monday night.

    Good Morning America
  • Virginia Hospital Shooting: Armed Prisoner in Manhunt Captured, Authorities Say

    Police have captured an escaped prisoner who became the subject of a manhunt after fleeing custody at a Virginia hospital this morning, a law enforcement official said. Law enforcement sources said the suspect was arrested in Washington, D.C., by Metropolitan Police Department without incident at…

    Good Morning America