Father Returns Home to Surprise Daughter
Mrs. Higgins’ seventh hour Communication Arts III class was packed on Monday, March 5 with “paparazzi” due to an event
kept top secret around the school. In the back of the room stood a yearbook photographer, a newspaper reporter, a broadcasting team member, and a KMBC channel 9 news camera.
Junior Ashleigh Martin’s father had been serving in the Army. He was surprising her with a reunion by
coming home earlier than planned. The class did not know what was about to happen, nor did Martin.
Mrs. Higgins simply told the class KMBC was doing a story of some kind and to ignore the cameras as much as
Class got started as usual; kids raised their hands, answered prompted questions, and cracked jokes.
Some students got slightly distracted from the large lens behind them, but did their best to stay focused
on Huckleberry Finn.
Suddenly the door swung open to a tall, tanned man with army cut hair, and of course, his army attire
on. Martin gawked in shock at first with her hand flying to her mouth. She jumped up and ran to her
father, throwing each other’s arms around their necks.
“Oh my God, Oh my God,” Martin said through her tears as she reached her dad. The two were
laughing and crying of happiness at the same time.
The class proceeded to clap for the Martin’s in their surprise homecoming. Emotion struck the entire
room. Everyone was surprised by what had just happened.
“When he first walked in I couldn’t see him, but when I did, I was confused. Then I saw Ashleigh get up
and hug him and I felt like I was going to cry. That’s when I realized what was going on. I thought about
what it would feel like if I didn’t see my dad for eight months. I was very happy for her and that she got
to see him,” junior Cortlin Kenowith said.
Martin’s mother was also in the building to see her husband and daughter reunite. A couple of
teachers piled in afterwards to take pictures and congratulate the family.
“I was shocked. I thought he wasn’t coming home for another two weeks. I had been told the middle
of March so I wasn’t suspecting it,” Ashleigh said.
Feelings were on point for the Martin family. Dale describes his emotions, “I started to cry
when I saw that she was crying. I was getting a little emotional waiting downstairs because I was a little
Congratulations to the Martin family. It was a special warm welcome home for Dale Martin.