Soldier Gives Family Surprise Homecoming During State of the Union Address

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Amy Williams Gets Sate of the Union Surprise
Sgt. 1st Class Townsend Williams surprises his family by returning early from deployment in Afghanistan during the State of the Union address (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

An Army spouse got the surprise of her life tonight while attending the State of the Union address as a guest of President Donald Trump when the president went off-script.

"War places a heavy burden on our Nation's extraordinary military families, especially spouses like Amy Williams from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and her two children -- 6-year-old Elliana and 3-year-old Rowan," the president said.

"Amy works full time, and volunteers countless hours helping other military families. For the past seven months, she has done it all while her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Townsend Williams, is in Afghanistan on his fourth deployment to the Middle East. Amy's kids have not seen their father's face in many months."

And that's where the prepared remarks ended for a few moments.

Instead of continuing to read the speech distributed to officials and the press, Trump instead announced that he had a surprise for Williams.

"But Amy there's one more thing. Tonight we have a very special surprise," he said. "I am thrilled to inform you that your husband is back from deployment, he is here with us tonight and we couldn't keep him waiting any longer."

And with that, Sgt. 1st Class Williams walked up to hug his wife and two small children as lawmakers stood and cheered.

The reunion was the first time a military family has been surprised by a homecoming as part of the State of Union address. It is also believed to be the first surprise reunion in the House chamber.

-- Amy Bushatz can be reached at amy.bushatz@military.com.

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