Father-daughter reunion met with cheers

Julianna Poe, Sports Editor

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Commotion filled the entrance of B hall as students became aware of a military officer standing in the commons after the sixth-hour bell last Monday. Senior Katlyn Evans’ father, who had been deployed for nine months, had returned.

“It’s hard to explain that emotion,” Evans said. “It was kind of intense to see everybody there and then the person that I’ve been waiting to see for that long just standing there.”

Two weeks before his return, senior Jeanetta Thornsberry, Evans’ friend, began preparing for the surprise. Evans’ father, — who has been in military service for 21 years — her mother and Thornsberry had to work through some car problems but managed to keep Evans’ father’s return a secret.

“[Seeing Katyln reunited with her dad] made me really happy,” Thornsberry said. “Seeing her cry made me want to cry because I knew … how much she loves her dad.”

Being a part of organizing this special reunion was a unique opportunity that Thornsberry is elated to have been a part of.

“Katlyn’s dad is like her best friend so it was a super special thing to be able to [be there for it] and … orchestrate that with everyone else,” Thornsberry said.

Evans is one of many military children who face the struggle of being without a loved one for long periods of time. 

“[Non-military families should know that] it’s very hard … to not be able to see that person for a long time,” Evans said. “I don’t really know how to explain it. It’s just difficult … to not be able to just be a family all the time.”

To celebrate his long-overdue return, Evans and her father — who hadn’t had a Mexican meal in months — sat in the vibrant, decorative chairs and feasted on the colorful foods of La Fiesta, the first of many more events to look forward to.

“I am very excited for winter to be here so we can go hunting and … watch football games and … just our father-daughter things,” Evans said.