The Prince George’s County School System dubbed it the “Best Career Day Ever.”
For Dellion Sitladin Jr., a fifth grader at Langley Park-McCormick Elementary School, it was more like the best Father’s Day gift ever.
Principal Amy Stout told the fifth graders assembled in the cafeteria on Friday that there was a surprise guest who wanted to be a part of the school’s career day.
“I had a special phone call this morning from someone and they said ‘You think you could fit me in the agenda? I really want to come and talk to the most special group of kids’,” Stout said.
None of the students knew who it was. Neither did the teachers.
“Are you ready for our special guest?” Stout asked the students.
The children, smiling, yelled “Yes.”
When Dellion Sitladin Sr., dressed in his Army fatigues, walked into the cafeteria, his son, nicknamed D.J., ran over to his father, collapsed in his arms and buried his head in his chest.
D.J. hadn’t seen his dad, who was stationed in Afghanistan, for almost a year.
His classmates and teachers clapped as the two embraced.
Stout said Tuesday that “it was total goosebumps.”
As Sitladin Sr. thanked the students for sending a care package and letter to him and his unit while he was overseas, his son stood next to him with tears streaming down his cheeks, still amazed that he was listening to his father - in person, at his school.
“What you guys said, it really keeps us up because we have a long journey, dangerous road,” Sitladin said. “We get to laugh and see what you guys write.”
He encouraged the students to do well in school “and hopefully one day you will be wearing the uniform or doing whatever it takes to be good to society.”