Navy father and young daughter reunited and cheering on the Capitals together

Joe Lemanek and his daughter Kaitlyn. (Photo, ABC7)

Lt. Joe Lemanek of the United States Navy has been deployed four times since his daughter Kaitlyn was born in 2009.

He has missed a combined 5 years of her life. His last tour lasted seven months.

“Pretty much just half over her life I’ve been gone,” Joe said. “It’s tough. You try and do what you love and try to balance the family life aspect and do what you got to do for the country.”

It ended on Sept. 28, during the second intermission of a Capitals home game. That’s where he surprised his daughter, a diehard Caps fan, by showing up and presenting her with her own custom jersey.

It has now been nearly seven months since that night. A lot has changed for this father and daughter and, of course, everyone knows what has happened to her beloved hockey team.

There has been so much excitement, even Joe, a Flyers fan, recently has felt a bit of a conversion this season.

“I have always told Kaitlyn you always have to support your home team,” he said.

Kaitlyn could not stop jumping up and down with excitement when asked about the prospect of the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup.

“It would be awesome,” she said. “It would be super, super, super, super, super, super, super special!”

Memorial Day week, the Caps are in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years and the decorated 15-year veteran has even more good news for Kaitlyn.

“Daddy has orders back to Fort Meade so I’m coming home,” he said before getting a big hug and kiss from his daughter.

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