Emotions were high on Nov. 2, when an elementary school student was reunited with his military mother for the first time in almost a year.
Military kids bravely learn to cope with significant amounts of change and lengthy time spent away from parents.
While kids get used to the normalcy of a parent being absent, it doesn’t make the heartache any less present. When parent and child finally reunite, both hearts can become whole again.
On Friday, all eyes were on Chaffee Elementary School fifth grader Kael Lancey, who was surprised beyond belief when his mom showed up at school.
The Huntsville, Alabama, class was gathered together to work on a school project, seemingly just another day in Kael’s school week.
The school mascot was present, too, but the kids didn’t know that Kael’s mother, Sgt. Desiree Lancey, was hiding underneath the eagle’s feathers.
Lancey hadn’t seen her son since Christmas 2017, having spent the better part of a year deployed in Kuwait.
When Lancey took off the mascot head, her son laid eyes on her for the first time in almost a year. Kael leapt into his mother’s arms, at first, too stunned to cry.
Applause thundered throughout the room as Kael buried his face into his mom’s shoulder and began to sob. Months and months of pent-up heartache could finally be released in the safety of his mother’s arms.
“God is so good,” Lancey later told WAFF-TV. “It’s rough, but it’s worth it. Small sacrifices for a long-term gain.”
Lancey and Kael got a head start on the weekend, leaving school early that day to enjoy much-needed time together.
“It’s hard being in the military and being away from them so much,” Lancey said.
“But seeing his face, just that initial — when I walked in and saw his face, I couldn’t breathe and I was so excited, just bliss.”
Lancey does not anticipate another deployment, so it seems that for now, she’s home for the foreseeable future.
She hopes the surprise reunion will be a special memory that Kael can reflect on throughout his life.
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