Soldier’s Return Proves the Best Surprise for JQA Youngster

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For Ryan Hughes, a kindergartner at John Quincy Adams, the best surprise of all came at the end of a recent school day. The unannounced guest arriving at teacher Allison Jurman’s classroom to pick him up from school was his father Michael, a staff sergeant newly home from serving with the U.S. Army overseas.

“He’s been gone since the summer, nine whole months, so this is a wonderful day,” said elated mother Theresa Hughes, who accompanied him to the classroom. “I’m very happy,” said Michael Hughes. “It’s good to finally be home.”

This was the fourth deployment for the father of three, who works as a financial planner when not serving his country. While an emotional Ryan held tightly to his father, who was still clad in fatigues, the soldier took a few questions from the other children – describing the experience of sleeping in a tent every night as well as his military work communicating with local people – before heading home for well-deserved quality time.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to reunite a family,” said Principal Christine Criscione.