Daughters surprised at school by military dad returning home from overseas

Updated: Apr. 23, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Mo. (KFVS) - Some young sisters in Jackson got a big surprise at school Friday, April 23.

Their dad returned from Kuwait earlier than they expected.

Sisters Kinsley and Ella Lathum took photos with classmates to welcome home their dad from serving overseas, but they didn’t expect to see him until after school.

Carl Lathum spent the last nine months working as a military police officer in Kuwait.

“I’ve been in the military for 11 years,” Lathum said.

Cuba and Qatar are some of the places he’s served.

Now, he’s home for awhile.

“It’s good to come home and to surprise them and see the look on their faces even though I’m pretty sure they’re more shocked and surprised than anything,” Lathum said.

Kinsley’s kindergarten teacher, Adele Esselman, helped organize the special moment.

“And so I said, ‘let’s write welcome home’ and they each took their very own letter and they colored it,” Esselman said.

The class wrote well-wishes to Lathum, thanking him for his service.

“We got balloons, and we were going to share the picture with him when, tonight, but we surprised her and we had daddy come home,” she said.

She said she’s happy to be a part of the reunion.

“My heart is just bursting,” she said.

Mother Jennifer Lathum said it will be a big help to have Carl home again.

“The girls love their daddy, they’ll be very thankful to have him home all the time,” Lathum said.

Now the Lathum family is going to take the next few days to spend time together and they plan to make a trip to the St. Louis Zoo on Saturday.

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