EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSURPRISE HOMECOMING
from Eyewitness News Online
Navy Officer Returns From Afghanistan, Surprises Son At Pep Rally
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Videographer: Troy Morgan
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Also Contributing: Bethany Simmons
Reported: Sep. 14, 2012 3:53 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 17, 2012 10:18 AM EDT
Ona , Cabell County , West Virginia
The band was playing, cheerleaders cheering and the students clapping. All seemed typical of a Friday afternoon pep rally before a big football game at any high school, but this pep rally turned out a little differently.
Cabell Midland High School sophomore Spencer White was called to the front of the gymnasium under the guise of accepting a “Spirit Award.” His spirits were lifted more than he could never imagine.
As he made his way down, his father, U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Jerome White, came over to surprise him. And, oh, what a surprise it was – Spencer’s father had been serving in Afghanistan for the last nine months.
Officer White arrived home Friday morning, but Spencer didn't know his father had returned. He was supposed to be deployed until January. Spencer was pretty speechless! "I'm still trying to process all of it," he said.
His dad says he was humbled by the hero's welcome at the school. "I just did my job. So being able to surprise them and just being able to see them again is that's what it was all about."
This was the final of four deployments for Jerome, who said he's ready to get back into the family routine. "The honey-do list at the house, maybe some paintball, just hanging around and being a family again. It's good to be home. It's really good to be home."
Dad also got to surprise his two daughters at their school earlier in the day.
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