It was a full day of reunions for this Oklahoma family, when a deployed military dad planned surprises at both of his kids’ schools to announce his homecoming.
Kent Simpson, a U.S. Army master sergeant, is home in Broken Arrow for two weeks after being away from home for training and for deployment in Afghanistan for the last six months.
“[I missed] both their birthdays,” Simpson said. “Levi turned 8 in December, Lily turned 12 in December. And of course, Christmas.”
But when he returned home earlier this month, the community helped him organize a sweet surprise for his 8-year-old son, Levi, during their assembly at Timber Ridge Elementary, where they drew a random name out of a hat and asked that student to come on stage.
“And surprise, surprise, it was Levi’s name,” his sister, Lily, said.
Simpson added, “What was awesome was when he turned around and saw me, because he had no idea, he yelled 'Daddy' really loud, and so that was pretty awesome.”
Later that day, Simpson headed over to Oneta Ridge Middle School and hid in the janitor’s closet while Lily was having lunch.
“Mr. Sadley said, 'We have a special guest,' and I was thinking it’s probably just another cheerleader or something,” Lily said.
When Simpson finally came out and surprised his daughter, “[She] just freaks out and runs over and gives me a great big hug and everything. She was in shock. She didn’t know what to think.”
Simpson is back for two weeks and plans to spend time camping and fishing with his two kids before he is back for good this summer.