HENRY COUNTY, Ga. – Two students in Henry County, Georgia, got a major surprise Friday when their Marine father flew home early from overseas and popped into their classrooms.
WSB-TV was at Ola Elementary School for the emotional moments when Sgt. Garen Evans surprised his two oldest children, daughter Karter May and son Kooper.
Evans and his wife said they worked with school officials to pull off the big reunion.
“It was definitely hard keeping it a secret because we didn’t tell his parents,” Evans’ wife, Kristina, said. “Like, nobody knew.”
Evans has been deployed in Japan for the last seven months. He flew in Friday morning from Japan.
School officials told Karter May and Kooper that they had arranged a Facetime call with their father for each of them in their classrooms as part of a military appreciation day. What the children didn’t know was that Evans was making the call from just outside the door.
As the call ended, Evans walked in, first to Karter May’s class and then to Kooper’s.
“I felt like I was going to cry,” Kooper said about getting to see his father again. “I haven’t seen him in a long time.”
Evans said he got emotional, too, because it’s hard to be away from his children for so long.
“I felt like I owed it to the family with being away for so long,” Evans said. “(I wanted to) give them something to hold onto after this.”
Evans only has a short time with his family: He flies back out Monday. But he will get to spend Veterans Day with his family, and he’s set to come home again in December in time for the holidays.
For now, his children said, they are just glad to get to spend some time with him. Kooper even had a wish for other military kids.
“I just hope they get to see their fathers and moms and, um, that they just get to see them,” Kooper said.