Home, sweet homecoming: Walton County dad surprises kids at school after deployment (PHOTOS)

McCoy Homecoming

Now that he is home, Sgt. McCoy said he is looking forward to getting back into his normal routine and spending time with his family.

Jennie McKeon | The Sun
Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 04:14 PM.

Since Father's Day last year, Sgt. Thomas McCoy has been in Afghanistan with the Army National Guard.

When he got word that he would be able to return home to Walton County almost six weeks ago, his wife Amanda immediately began planning his homecoming to Santa Rosa Beach .

"We tried really hard to keep it a secret," she said.

With the help of teachers at Bay Elementary and Good News United Methodist Church Preschool, Amanda and her parents, Missy and Dan Marcinkowski, were able to plan a grand surprise for her three kids Monday afternoon.

The first stop was to pick up four-year-old Olivia at Good News UMC where Thomas, dressed in his camouflage, walked out of the white limo his father-in-law had arranged and into the church auditorium where students were practicing their graduation ceremony.

It took a few seconds for Olivia to register what was going on, but in no time she ran into her father's arms while happy tears slipped down her cheeks.

"She's definitely a daddy's girl," Amanda said. "This deployment has been very hard on her. Recently she's been very clingy, asking for him all the time."

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