Oft-deployed Army dad surprises son at his San Antonio school!
2023/08/09

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When 13-year-old Kaden Hawkins entered his pre-AP algebra class, he slung his binder on his desk, retrieved a classroom calculator and started his assigned warmup, as he would any other Friday afternoon.

There was something different about this one. Reporters and photographers were gathered in his classroom at Stevenson Middle School. His teacher, Debbie Hernandez, explained that they were there to observe the class because, as Advance Placement students, they were getting high school course credit.

Kaden believed it and even volunteered to be interviewed. It was a ruse. About 15 minutes after class started, Kaden’s dad, Army Special Forces Medical Sgt.

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Shan Hawkins walked in.

It took a stunned Kaden a few seconds to grasp that his father, who had been deployed to Iraq in May, was standing before him.

“Kaden, come here,” Hawkins said. The two embraced as Kaden’s classmates clapped.

Hawkins, 38, pulled away to look at his son, who wept silently on his father’s chest. Hawkins kissed Kaden’s head. The soldier also cried, and sniffles could be heard from classmates and school administrators from Northside Independent School District.

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