There was a tearful family reunion Thursday when a father serving in the military overseas surprised his daughters at South Lakes High School in Reston, Va.
Air Force Col. Stephen Williams is spending a year in South Korea, where he’s the vice wing commander of the 8th fighter wing “Wolfpack.”
The F-16 pilot deployed in June and his daughters Ashley and Amanda have seen him once since, but this was going to be their first Thanksgiving without him.
As luck would have it, he was called to a meeting at the Pentagon, so he and his wife, Holly, decided to keep the return a secret.
They called the school to suggest surprising their daughters, and assistant principal Lindsay Trout ran with it.
They created a ruse that brought the girls to the cafeteria together to be interviewed by the school yearbook for a story on school siblings.
Then just after noon, Dad walked in. One daughter jumped right into his arms, and there were lots of tears and cheers all around.
The girls always wear their Dad’s dog tags around their necks.
He’s also home just in time to see Ashley play her first high school basketball game at a scrimmage tonight. He’ll return to South Korea after Thanksgiving, giving the family enough time to celebrate the holiday together.