KILLEEN, Texas – Thursday marked a happy homecoming for a Killeen Military father – who surprised his three children at school after a year of deployment.
Fort Hood Staff Sergeant Andy Patterson has been deployed for the last year, only keeping up with his children through the phone and social media, but today this changed.
Patterson walked through the halls of Brookhaven Elementary School with his wife by his side, giving his children a surprise they didn’t see coming.
Stopping first at his son Andy, Jr.’s second grade class, who had one thing to tell his father.
“I really love him,” Andy, Jr. said.
With Andy, Jr. in on the surprise, Patterson went to his daughter’s Ava and Ariah’s class.
They have been planning the surprise for the past three weeks, and wanted to give the children a memory to always cherish.
“For me it meant a lot. For my children, based on their reaction, I could tell it meant a lot,” Patterson said. “It’s been twelve months since we’ve been together, basically living through social media and the camera.”
Andrea Patterson says she is happy to have her husband back, and they wanted to give the children their own individual moments – especially since they couldn’t be there when he returned at 2:00 a.m.
She says being away from him for the past year has been challenging, but her support system and his support from thousands of miles away kept her going.
“Just be together,” Andrea said. “Literally, just be in our home together. Appreciate time with family.”
Thursday night is parent/teacher night at the school, and they are happy to attend as a family.