Surprise at Sunrise

For the first time in six months, Army Reservist Adam Greene finally got to hold his 6-year-old son, Ayden, during a surprise visit Friday, Nov. 9 at Sunrise River Elementary School. Photo by Jon Tatting

For the first time in six months, Army Reservist Adam Greene finally got to hold his 6-year-old son, Ayden, during a surprise visit Friday, Nov. 9 at Sunrise River Elementary School. Photo by Jon Tatting

— Military dad shocks son with special visit at NB elementary school —

Young Ayden’s smile said it all.

The Greene family of North Branch reunited in surprise fashion Friday afternoon, Nov. 9, when U.S. Army Reservist Adam Greene, in complete military fatigues, popped inside Melanie Gooley’s first grade classroom at Sunrise River Elementary School. For 6-year-old Ayden, time seemed to stop until he emerged from story time to welcome his father’s embrace for the first time in six long months.

Mrs. Gooley encouraged her first grade class to count the months that Ayden’s daddy had been away from his family. Photo by Jon Tatting

Mrs. Gooley encouraged her first grade class to count the months that Ayden’s daddy had been away from his family. Photo by Jon Tatting

Six months, emphasized Mrs. Gooley, who encouraged the class to count the months on their fingers to grasp the time away. Even the simple task of tying one of Ayden’s shoes was revealing, as Dad could not wait to take care of his boy again.

Planning the surprise was Vicki Greene, Ayden’s mother, who wanted to do something special once her husband arrived back home after fulfilling Army Reserve orders in South Carolina and then Virginia. She was just unsure of the timing, since Adam’s stay on the East Coast could have been longer due to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

With a kiss on the cheek from daddy, Ayden was all smiles in this moment with parents Adam and Vicki Greene outside the first grader’s classroom. Photo by Jon Tatting

With a kiss on the cheek from daddy, Ayden was all smiles in this moment with parents Adam and Vicki Greene outside the first grader’s classroom. Photo by Jon Tatting

Yet it was meant to be, as Adam experienced a similar reunion with 2-year-old son Owen at daycare. Joining them was Vicki’s parents Charles and Laura Gross. That night, they all attended a welcome home party for Adam, who now returns to his civilian job with a new take on life.

“I use to take the little things for granted,” said Adam after surprising Ayden at school. “Now I see how important they are.”

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