Local

A Valley soldier's surprise visit

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Valley soldier returned home Saturday, surprising his family with an unexpected visit. Sgt. Daniel Coronado was injured when a mortar detonated near his unit in Afghanistan back in August.

Sgt. Coronado told his family they could watch him receive an award through a live internet stream. So they all gathered at their grandmother's house in Clovis to watch. But with the help of a family friend, Coronado sneaked his way back to the Valley to surprise his loved ones.

The 24-year-old soldier surprised his grandmother, Rose, and the rest of his family at their home in Clovis.

Sgt. Coronado is on medical leave for a few days. He told Action News he wanted to make this trip home extra special. "I'm ecstatic, just to see my family right now," Sgt. Coronado said.

"I'm feeling, just happy," said Rose Gupton, Coronado's grandmother.

The last time most of his family members saw Coronado was before his deployment to Afghanistan in March. Sgt. Coronado served two previous deployments to Iraq in 2006 and 2009.

On August 4, just three months into his deployment in Afghanistan enemy forces attacked his unit.

"I took metal through my knee, it blew my knee out," he said. "It took three surgeries to put it back together. Doctors say I should heal up just fine. It's just a lot of physical therapy now."

This was his chance to surprise his grandmother just like she did at Travis Air Force base after the attack. "The sun was in his eyes. When he turned around and looked at me he said "oh shhh... Grandma," Gupton said.

Of course, Coronado couldn't have pulled this mission off alone.

"He had everything laid out, his uniform and all of his awards. He was cleaning it this morning," said family friend Debbie Truhett. "It was awesome. It was a wonderful feeling. I'm just glad he's safe and doesn't have to go back."

Now Coronado gets to enjoy home cooked food and much needed family time.

Sgt. Coronado will be here in the Valley until Tuesday, and then he'll head down to Los Angeles to see his mother for a few days before he returns to his Army post in Hawaii.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
clovis, fresno county, united states army, local, rick montanez
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