PDT Staff Writer
Destiny, Carter and Maile Smith received a pleasant surprise Monday afternoon during the Veterans Day Assembly held at Valley High School.
During the ceremony, the Smith family was surprised when Staff Sergeant Shawn Smith returned early from active service with the 220th Air National Guard from Afghanistan to surprise his family.
Lori Jenkins, Valley Elementary Principal said the planing for the surprise started weeks ago when Smith called and asked to surprise his family with an early return.
“He (Smith) called from Afghanistan and said ‘I would like to surprise my kids.’ Our initial plans were to have him (Smith) show up in the school. Around that time our Veterans Day program got changed and his schedule got changed to where he (Smith) came in yesterday (Sunday),” Jenkins said. “They hid him in Columbus (Sunday) and drove down this morning.”
Jenkins said Smith was initially slated to return home the day before Thanksgiving.
Before Smith was revealed, Jenkins interviewed the family to tell a story through the eyes of his children about the sacrifice made while their daddy was away serving our country.
Jenkins asked Carter and Maile, “If your daddy was with us today what’s something you would like to tell him?”
Carter answered, “I would like to tell him that I’ve missed him a lot.”
Maile agreed with what he said.
According to released information from the school, Smith has been called into multiple oversees tours for active duty that have lead him through the countries of Egypt, Germany, Kuwait, Iran, Ireland and Qatar.
Also during the assembly, Carter represented Valley Elementary as he along with students from Valley Middle School and Valley High School led the pledge of Allegiance.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.