An IDF soldier who received a commendation for excellence today broke out into tears when he saw his father for the first time in seven years. The soldier moved to Israel from Ethiopia a few years ago but his father stayed in the African country.

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One of the 121 IDF soldiers who received commendations for excellence on Tuesday at the Israeli President’s residence broke out into tears when he was reunited with his father, whom he hadn’t seen in seven years.

“They said that they want to do an interview with me,” said Agra, an Israeli soldier who immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia and is serving in the Teleprocessing Corps, after the emotional reunion. “It took me a few moments to realize that my father was there. I wasn’t expecting this. I’m very happy.”

Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash 90

The special reunion took place in the president’s office. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot were present during the reunion. “You should be very proud of his achievements,” Eizenkot told Agra’s father. “He couldn’t have made it to where he is today without receiving education from home.”

 “You are in Addis Ababa and we are here,” Rivlin said. “Your son is serving the State of Israel, the most important service. 3,000 years you were waiting to immigrate to Israel and now you are soldiers in the IDF, an essential part of our country and nation.”

Agra immigrated to Israel along with his brother a few years ago after their mother moved to Israel. However, their father stayed in Ethiopia.