It was just another day for a young student … until her teacher called her name. When she looked up, she jumped into the arms of a young man and even was granted permission from the principal to leave school early! Who was this guy?
In 2011, Kailee Johnson, a sixth-grader, was in the middle of her social studies class at Wisconsin Middle School in Brookfield in the morning when her teacher, Tammy Dentice, called her out.
Dentice tried to get the 12-year-old’s attention to look at the front—her brother, U.S. Marine Colin Glavan, was standing right there!
“I looked and he was halfway across the room,” Kailee told Journal Sentinel.
Glavan had just returned from his deployment to Afghanistan.
“Colin!” she cried, and jumped right out of her desk and into her brother’s arms while her classmates clapped.
Kailee had been watching videos on the internet for weeks of soldiers’ homecomings, and her turn had finally come. Her family had worked with the school to plan a surprise reunion for Colin’s younger sister, who missed her brother a lot.
She had not seen him for 14 months and missed him dearly. She kept a toy bear from her brother in her school locker, along with a photo of him in uniform pasted inside her locker door.
It was not the first time that Glavan, who worked in intelligence and created maps for use in military operations, had been deployed, as he’d been stationed in Iraq twice.
“So much emotion,” the siblings’ mother, Trish Johnson, said. “Just to watch Kailee’s expression is priceless.
“I wish I could explain to people how it is. You send your kid off to war, I mean, and then you see him come back and your whole life is changed by it all. You’d think after the third time you’d get kind of used to this, but you don’t. You don’t at all.”
Though Johnson has two other children, Glavan and Kailee share a special bond.
“I’m just going crazy. I’m so happy and excited for him to be home,” Kailee said.
Kailee left school early that day to hang out with her brother.
“You get a day off,” the principal, Robyn Martino, said. “Principal’s order.”
It’s a pretty good deal when the principal allows you to take the day off!
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