'She's my reason for everything.' Baldwin soldier surprises daughter she hasn't seen in over a year
A Baldwin soldier gave her daughter a surprise Thursday that she won't soon forget.
Nikole Carvajal, 8, was having an ordinary day in her second grade class when her mother, Army Sgt. Lilibeth Contreras, came in.
"I'm very surprised, and I miss her very much," Nikole says.
Nikole hasn't been able to hug her mother since she shipped off for service in South Korea 14 months ago.
Contreras says she enlisted in the Army because she wanted to defend her country and build a better future for her daughter.
"She's my reason for everything," Contreras says. "She's my reason to push forward."
Contreras says Carvajal has been making her proud while she is away by excelling in school. She hopes her daughter's greatest lesson is coming from her mother's service.
"The military, any branch, what you see the most is men," Contreras says. "And seeing that women, that they have achieved a big rank, a higher rank, they teach other women to become stronger. I want her to be strong when she grows up. I want her to know she's capable of achieving anything that she wants."
Nikole says she is proud of her mother and happy that she does it for her.
Contreras will be home for 25 days before she reports for her next tour of duty in Germany.
She and her daughter are heading to Disney World next week.