BUCKHANNON, W.Va.- Teachers at Tennerton Elementary School told students they were coming outside to learn about playground safety, but they had a surprise in store.
First grade student Kara Hildreth had not seen her dad in six months since he had been serving in Romania. He surprised her at school after some planning with the staff.
“We luckily had some playground equipment we needed to unveil for the kids, so we thought ‘what a perfect time to do that and then have Michael come whenever we were unveiling the playground equipment for the kids’,” said principal Tristen Gray.
Students were brought outside to see the new equipment and were told they were going to hear from someone who knew a lot about safety. Michael then arrived with flowers to surprise his daughter, he said he is happy to be home with his family, but enjoyed his time overseas.
“As far as Romania, it was a very welcoming country to Americans. They definitely know the dangers at their doorstep and they are very thankful for the american support,” said Michael.
Michael said now that he is back home, he will take a three-week break to spend time with his wife and children and then return to his civilian job as a physician’s assistant.
Principal Gray said he felt fortunate to see his students to see the reunion and to recognize what servicemen go through.
“I love it. It’s wonderful to see families kind of come back together. It’s good for our kids to be able to see the sacrifice this whole family made for the last six months, so we were really fortunate to be able to be a part of it,” said Gray.