A heart warming surprise reunion between a long-deployed military mother and her graduating daughter.
Kids Swept Up by Surprise Reunion
Before fifth-grader Emily Wright stepped forward to sing her solo Tuesday at an Altoona Elementary School arts program, her reunion with her military father, Sgt. David Wright, had already stolen the show. The surprise reunion was in the works for several days. On Tuesday, Principal Steve Stotts and music teacher Amy Mechling welcomed parents and others to the program, which was dedicated to Iowa's service men and women. To set the tone for the program, which included several patriotic songs, Stotts and Mechling planned to show pictures of another deployed parent and Wright. They showed the first service member's picture but an unexpected "computer glitch" caused a delay as they tried to recognize Wright. Seconds later, Wright appeared, emerging from behind a big piece of cardboard. A few heartbeats thumped and the tears began to roll, as Wright's two daughters — Emily, 10, and Alise, 5 — ran to their father's waiting arms. Helping pull off the surprise was "kind of an outreach opportunity," Stotts said.