Surprise! A Behind-the-Scenes Look at These Happy Military Homecomings
2023/07/24

This story is about Army Spc. Kelita Baskin, who had just returned from a seven-month deployment in Afghanistan and wanted to surprise her siblings during her short time at home. Baskin had become the primary caregiver for her five younger siblings after her mother passed away, and her bond with them was incredibly strong. She decided to work with a former high school teacher to set up the surprise reunion. Baskin told her siblings that her homecoming was delayed and then went to pick them up one by one. They went to the elementary school where three of her siblings and a cousin attended, and the principal, Tonya Hilburn, helped get the kids out of class without raising suspicion. When Baskin finally entered the school, joyful chaos ensued as her siblings ran to embrace her. Baskin was overwhelmed with emotion seeing them and realized they were growing up quickly. The reunion not only touched her family but also the other students, faculty, and administrators at the school. Surprise military reunions have become increasingly popular in recent years, with videos of these reunions often going viral on YouTube. These videos capture the raw emotion and genuine moments of loved ones being reunited. They remind civilians of the sacrifices made by those in the military when they are deployed or away from home. The story also features Army Sgt. 1st Class Hugh Davis, who surprised his three children at a big event at Fort Bliss, Texas. Despite the nerves and logistics involved in planning surprise reunions, Davis and his wife encourage others to make these homecomings special. They believe surprises can create unforgettable moments for families and help with the readjustment process. Georgette Price, a military spouse and manager for Bossier Parish schools, advises families to plan reunions based on what is right for them. Open communication before, during, and after deployment is crucial to dealing with any issues that may arise. Price and her husband surprised their children at school, and the experience was heartwarming. The story concludes by sharing perspectives from Air Force Master Sgt. Paul Nardini, who believes videos of military reunions help others understand the hardships faced by military families. Baskin, on the other hand, treasures the limited time she has with her siblings and sees her military service as an opportunity to provide them with a better life. Overall, the story highlights the emotional and heartwarming moments of surprise military reunions and their impact on families, schools, and communities.

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