TRENTON, GA (WDEF-TV) It would have been easy for the Clark family to wait until their daughter's graduation later this week to surprise her with the typical daddy's home from war, but no, they had something much better than that planned.
Angela Clark wants to make one unforgettable moment for both of her kids and it all began with a little game.
"I wanted it to be something different than anybody had done before,” said Angela Clark The first thing that come to my mind was a murder mystery."
Playing off the board game Clue, Angela had her two children, Cori and Timothy, along with some local high schoolers would do a scavenger hunt throughout Trenton searching for clues but unaware of the real mystery that waits them.
"My daughter has no clue that I'm going to be here,” said Joseph Clark.
Lieutenant Joseph Clark is returning from his duty overseas earlier than expected and now he can attend his daughter's high school graduation.
He hid in a box and waited to be discovered by his daughter, and it ended in a very emotional moment.
"My daughter has at the most amazing year that I've not been here for,” Lt. Joseph Clark said.
Daughter Cori felt this moment was all worth him not being there for her senior year of high school.
"It's crazy to think he's not here to see me accomplish so much in my senior year, and now he's here to see a small bit of it means everything to me,” said daughter Cori.
None of that matters now that she and her brother have their father back. It’s now all about the time they have now
"Just spend some time with him talk about what happened the past year,” said son Timothy Clark.
"The only think I can think of is just to sit down and spend time with my dad,” said Cori.
Lieutenant Clarks says the biggest problem was keeping this a secret, and it was tough for him to stay hidden while traveling around town. He said he often had to hide his face, so no one would notice him.
Lieutenant Clarks says he does plan to retire in two years.