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Returning Soldier Surprises Second-Grade Son At Elementary School In Northern Westchester

Second grader Sean has a surprise reunion with his father at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School Photo Credit: Lakeland Central School District
Second grader Sean has a surprise reunion with his father at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School Photo Credit: Lakeland Central School District
Second grader Sean has a surprise reunion with his father at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School Photo Credit: Lakeland Central School District
Second grader Sean has a surprise reunion with his father at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School Photo Credit: Lakeland Central School District
Second grader Sean has a surprise reunion with his father at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School Photo Credit: Lakeland Central School District

What was expected to be a typical day at school turned into an incredibly emotional reunion between a second grader at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School and his father.

Specialist Chris Larkin, who just returned from a year away on a tour of duty with the U.S. Army National Guard in the Middle East, flew into New York Thursday, Jan. 31 and headed straight to his son, Sean’s school in the Lakeland School District.

Larkin worked alongside his son’s teacher, Kathy Nash, as well as the school’s Principal, Patricia Moore, over the course of several weeks to plan the heartfelt reunion.

Larkin snuck into the school’s library unseen. Mrs. Moore later appeared in front of Sean holding a large sign that read, “Welcome Home.” Sean, slightly confused, was then instructed to turn around. Sean’s confusion then turned to shock as he ran to his father and leaped into his arms for a long embrace.

Larkin returned from the Middle East just a few days before his heartfelt reunion with Sean. He was just one of the 300 members of the New York Army National Guard’s 101st Expeditionary Signal Battalion, which is headquartered in Yonkers. The soldiers are returning to New York in small groups at airports closest to their homes.

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