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MILITARY MATTERS: Surprise Early Reunion for Soldier Dad and Daughters

Published: May. 6, 2021 at 4:33 PM EDT
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JACKSON, Mo. (WTVM) - Two young girls recently got a big surprise at school. Their soldier dad returned from Kuwait earlier than they expected.

Sisters Kinsley and Ella Lathum took photos with classmates to welcome home their Dad from serving overseas, but they didn’t expect to see him until after school. He surprised them, to plenty of cheers.

Carl Lathum spent the last nine months working as a military police officer in Kuwait and said, “I’ve been in the military for 11 years.”

He’s served in Cuba and Qatar but now he’s home for awhile.

“I missed daddy,” one of the girls said.

“It’s good to come home and to surprise them and see the look on their faces even though I’m pretty sure they’re more shocked and surprised than anything,” Lathum said.

Kinsley’s kindergarten teacher, Adele Esselman helped organize this special moment.

“And so I said let’s write welcome home and they each took their very own letter and they colored it,” Esselman said.

The class in Jackson Missouri wrote well wishes to Lathum, thanking him for his service.

The teacher, who was happy to be part of this emotional reunion, added, “We got balloons, and we were going to share the picture with him when, tonight but we surprised her and we had daddy come home.”

Mother, Jennifer Lathum, says it will be a big help to have Carl home again: “The girls love their daddy, they’ll be very thankful to have him home all the time.”

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