Kettering Army dad surprises kids at school, returning after seven months away

KETTERING — Jacob Turner shouted his stepdaughter’s name at least two times before the third-grader looked his way, popped up, ran and jumped into the Army private’s arms for a long embrace.

Turner’s arrival at Oakview Elementary School on Thursday afternoon came as a surprise to 9-year-old Maddisyn Beaty, who said she last hugged him about seven months ago.

“I was shocked and excited,” she said surrounded by schoolmates and family outside the school.

Turner said he had arrived from Virginia just a few hours before the reunion, which comes in the middle of the Month of the Military Child, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

The visit to Oakview was the first of two stops at Kettering schools Turner made upon his return. He also went by Van Buren Middle School, where he greeted his stepson, Kolton Honeyman, a sixth-grader.

“It’s a really great feeling,” Turner said.

More than 1.6 million military children face “many challenges and unique experiences as a result of their parents’ service,” according to the Department of Defense. “While military members serve around the world, we often forget the challenges faced by their children.”

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