MENTOR, Ohio (WJW) – After spending more than a year overseas, a U.S. Army soldier was welcomed home with hugs as he surprised his kids at Mentor Public Schools on Thursday.
It had been 373 days since Sergeant Bradley Wallace, a Barberton native, saw his family.
FOX 8 spoke with his wife, Alicia, who said they came up with a plan to surprise their son Mickey and daughter Haven at school.
Mrs. Harris, the principal of Orchard Hollow Elementary School, told Mickey’s second grade class that someone special traveled a long way to see them.
Students began throwing out guesses like Jungle Terry and LeBron James. When asked who he thought it could be, Mickey guessed the YouTuber MrBeast.
“This person has been doing a very important job for everyone here at Orchard Hollow, for everyone in Mentor, Ohio, for everyone in the State of Ohio and for everyone in the United States of America,” Harris said in the video.
She then introduced Sgt. Wallace and Mickey jumped up to hug his dad as the class applauded.
In another clip, at Shore Middle School, Sgt. Wallace was seen standing outside Haven’s sixth grade classroom.
“Go get her,” his wife said before he stepped inside. She didn’t notice at first, but once she did, Haven, full of happy tears, stood up to hug her dad.
“This moment meant so much to us,” Alicia said. “Our family is our priority and when he’s not here, I have to play both roles. But it’s not the same as actually having your dad home.”
Now that he is home, Alicia said their family is once again complete.
“My kids, my husband and I are just so happy to be together again,” she said.