Soldier surprises daughters for Thanksgiving

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Updated: 11/22/2011 9:11 pm
Broken Arrow -- 

It’s not always easy to be around family during the holidays, but when you’re in the military, quality time can be few and far between.

For one local soldier, the element of surprise came at just the right time.

Sgt. Jeremy Anderson walks down the hall of Haskell Middle School in Broken Arrow.
His daughter, Emily sits quietly at her desk not knowing what’s about to happen.

Dressed in his army fatigues, Anderson walks into the class.
His daughter is shocked to see her father standing before her.

It’s been ten months since Anderson was deployed to Iraq, and the transition has been tough for the whole family, but especially for little Emily.

"Their bond is so close, and they don't do anything without the other one. Emily is always on his heels no matter what he's doing,” says her mother Sheri Anderson.

This is the first time that Jeremy has been away from Emily since she was born.

"It's been pretty tough. You miss a lot of stuff that goes on through the years that you don't get to see,” says Jeremy.

Clinging to her father’s side, Emily doesn’t let go of him for a second.
A little shy, she has a hard time expressing just how much she’s missed him.

"It’s too much to put into words,” says Emily.

"I was wondering how she was going to react. If she was going to just stand there and go Hey, or if she was going to jump up and run,” says Jeremy.

Not only did Jeremy surprise Emily, he also surprised his other daughter, Caitlyn.

"I'm just really happy and amazed that he's back,” says Caitlyn.

Sheri says having her husband home is extremely special, but most of all, his presence makes her youngest daughter whole again.

"It's just heartwarming to see that she's complete again, because having him makes her complete,” says Sheri.

Sgt Jeremy Anderson is a helicopter mechanic with the 834th Aviation Unit of the Oklahoma National Guard. His family hopes this will be his last deployment.
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