WNY serviceman meets newborn daughter for the 1st time during homecoming

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TALLADEGA, AL – MAY 05: A giant American Flag waves above the track during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5, 2013 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

CATTARAUGUS, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s a reunion one Western New York family will never forget. Serviceman Matthew Lehman surprised his loved ones in Cattaraugus Friday night, and held his baby daughter for the first time.

“I kind of snuck in and knocked on the door and just surprised them and, surprised my wife first and she was in shock,” Lehman said.

Lehman is back home after serving in Iraq for the last year. After hugging his wife Heidi, he saw a brand new face, his 7 month old daughter Abigail.

“It definitely made me cry,” Lehman said. “The biggest thing for me was just being able to hold her.”

He joked that she didn’t react exactly like he expected her to.

“She cried,” Lehman said. “She was more weirded out, like why is this guy holding me.”

The reunions didn’t stop there. Next Lehman surprised his six year-old son, Cameron, at his school.

“It was a joy,” Lehman said. “I haven’t seen Cameron in 11 months so it brought a tear to my eyes. Just to see everybody, now that the family is back together.”

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