MEHOOPANY — Three kids got quite a surprise on Wednesday when their dad came home from Afghanistan a couple weeks before they expected him.
For two of the boys, that meant quite a moment during lunch at Mehoopany Elementary School, when their dad came walking through the door.
Sgt. Thomas Harvey walked into a cafeteria full of kids at Mehoopany Elementary and two little boys here couldn’t believe their eyes.
Third grader Ashton had a skip in his step has he rushed to his dad, but after a quick hug, Dad had to find his other boy.
It took first grader Isaac a little longer to realize that’s really Daddy in person at home after nearly a year away. It was a hug a boy and his dad waited so, so long for.
And this dad from Meshoppen is surprised, too, at how much the boys have grown, especially his first grader.
“Look at him now, he got so big! I’m sure he’s got more of an attitude now than I ever had!” said Sgt. Harvey.
The sergeant surprised his older son Christian earlier in the day.
This is now a family reunited after the Army reservist spent more than eight months in Afghanistan. It was hard on everyone.
“It was tough. They didn’t have a male figure at home, it was just me. They needed more and I couldn’t give them more. I was calling everyone else to come and take them to do something. It was hard, it was rough but we made it through,” said Carissa Harvey.
And without his family, Sgt. Harvey had a support network, too.
“You have your brothers and sisters that wear the same uniform you do and you’re their support and they’re your support. You have to lean on them to be your family at that time.”
After a round of applause for their dad and his service, there was one thing his boys wanted.
“What do you want to do now?”
“Go home!” Ashton replied.
“And spend time with him?”
The whirlwind welcome home included a firetruck ride away from the school, quite a day after quite a year for this dad and his family.
“Everything right now is overwhelming for me. Right now, it’s a new world that I’m going to try to get used to,” Sgt. Harvey said.