FRISCO (CBS 11 NEWS)  – What was supposed to be a simple trip to the mall to see Santa, turned out to be the sweetest moment between a little girl and her dad.

Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Black showed up at Stone Briar Mall surprising his three-year-old daughter, June.

“My heart melted,” Black said of the moment he hugged his daughter.

Black has been deployed five times.  He’s returning from a six-month tour in Afghanistan.  This last deployment, which was unexpectedly cut short, allowing him to surprise his family for the holidays.  Black made it to North Texas Saturday, but his wife Cynthia kept it a secret until now.

“That’s exactly how I wanted it.  She was completely surprised, and that’s the way I wanted it,” she said.  “She (June) missed him so much the whole deployment.  Always talked about him everyday.”

Even Staff Sgt. Black didn’t know all the details of the planned reunion.  He surely wasn’t expecting TV cameras.

“I thought we were coming to see Santa Claus and so I’m very shocked to see you guys here,” he said.

The surprise meeting at the mall also provided the first face-to-face meeting for Black and his new son.  Little Lucas was born while Black was overseas.  This is the first time Black has had a chance to hold him.

“She’s been having the baby by herself while he’s gone, I’m just happy he’s home safe and I’m proud of him,” said Black’s mother-in-law, Lindy Leos.

“Right now, I got everything I wanted for Christmas standing right here with me,” said Black.

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