73-year-old Navy hero in Fresno has emotional reunion with daughter after 100 days

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The excitement of car horns and cheers helped celebrate Father's Day for a number of military veterans in southwest Fresno on Friday.

More than 50 cars, most of them decorated and full of friends and family members, passed through the front of the Veterans Home of California as residents lined up to greet them.

These type of parades have become increasingly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic but something about this one felt a little different.

"He saw my jeep, he saw me, I could see him start to get choked up. I just want him to know what to feel. We love him, we haven't forgotten him," said Alicia Bitner.

It had been nearly 100 days since Bitner last saw her father in person.

Because of restrictions brought on by the global health crisis, their only contact these days has been once-a-week video calls.

"I was so surprised when I turned the corner and saw so many cars were. I'm just so elated that everybody is participating. It's just a really nice thing to see everybody out here," said Bitner.

Bitner's dad was visibly moved by the gesture of the parade as well.

The soon to be 74-year-old Navy hero and Vietnam veteran got emotional when talking about seeing his daughter for the first time in over three months.

The Veterans Home of California is a long-term care facility that offers multiple levels of care for Golden State residents who served our country.
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