A sixth grader from Idaho got the surprise of his life recently when his military father surprised him at a pep rally. Little did the young man know, the pep rally was part of an elaborate set-up, with the sole purpose of creating one epic moment.
After the rally was in full swing, Principal Williamson of Gooding Middle School made a special announcement that will likely stick in the boy’s memory for a very, very long time:
“So David Beach would you come here? I would like to introduce to you, Sergeant First Class Kenny Beach who’s returning home from Iraq after 9 months of deployment…” Williamson declared through the loudspeaker, as reported by ABC News.
A wonderful reunion ensued, with David bursting into tears as his dad sprinted through the gymnasium to give his boy a long-awaited hug. The whole place burst into a rapturous round of applause.
David was, of course, absolutely thrilled to have his hero father home and away from the dangerous desert war zone.
“I’m super excited and I can’t wait to have fun with my dad again, go fishing, go to a whole bunch of places,” David told KMTV-TV, adding that the best part of the surprise was “just having my dad back.”
As for Sgt. Beach, he was clearly touched by his son’s reaction. The highlight, he said, was “just being able to hold him again, to see him smiling, happy and excited that I’m home.”
“That just meant the world to me,” he said.
Just a few thousand American troops remain in Iraq, despite 150,000 coalition troops crossing the border into the war-torn Middle Eastern nation back in 2003. The continued drawdown of U.S. personnel was reportedly accelerated earlier than anticipated following the widespread eradication of ISIS from the country.
“The battle against Daesh has ended, and so the level of the American presence will be reduced,” said Iraqi government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi back in February, as reported by the Associated Press.
A coalition spokesman added that future operations in the region “will be conditions-based, proportional to the need and in coordination with the government of Iraq.”
(H/T: ABC News)