International police advisor surprises son at Torres Elementary
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Branden Burleson latched onto his father once he saw him enter the door of his kindergarten classroom at Rodolfo Torres Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon.
The 5-year-old only gets to see his father, Aaron Burleson, an international police adviser in Afghanistan, two to three times a year.
Branden received an early Christmas present when his father stood at the door of his classroom with his arms held wide open.
"He's never been home for Christmas with his son," said Donna Geistman, Branden's mother.
Burleson hugged his son and carried him out into the hallway to play catch up.
Just how much did Branden miss his dad?
"100," Branden said as he stood proudly by his father's side.
Branden talks with his father every Tuesday via Skype, a Internet-based video phone service.
Talking once a week is the only way to keep in contact with his father, Branden's mother said.
"I think a lot of parents take the time they spend with their kids for granted," she said.
Burleson retired from the Victoria Police Department in 2004 after 18 years.
He then toured a year in Iraq, and has spent the past four years in Afghanistan training Afghanistan police forces.
Burleson will be home for about two weeks and then head back to Afghanistan, he said.
"Two weeks ago he told me, "Dad, when are you coming home?" Burleson said.
In the meantime, he plans to spend as much time as possible with Branden.
The two will fish at Branden's favorite fishing spot at Ethel Lee Tracy Park and eat at Chuck E. Cheese's as often as possible.
Then, of course, there is Christmas - their first together.
"We've got a lot of Christmas shopping to do," he said as he roughed up his son's hair.