LEWISVILLE — For students at Southridge Elementary School in Lewisville, Monday morning started off with an assembly.
Nobody thought much about the fact that the Haskins sisters — Kayden in third grade and Addisyn in kindergarten — were seated right up front and center. That was until their father walked out from behind the curtain and surprised them both with a special reunion.
Senior Airman Dekendrick Haskins has served in the U.S. Air Force for the past three years, but earlier this year he faced his first deployment. He was gone for seven months. When he found out he’d be coming home, a friend suggested he surprise his daughters.
The shock and love in the girls' faces were priceless.
“It was a good thing,” Kayden said after the big surprise and news that her dad would be home for awhile.
The surprise was not only special for the girls, but for all of Southridge Elementary in Lewisville. When he’s not deployed, Haskins volunteers as a member of the school’s "Watch Dog" program, in which dads serve as mentors to students. Haskins is one of their favorites.
After the big surprise, the Haskins family had more to look forward to, including meals at their favorite restaurants and a trip to Disney World. But, Monday’s surprise will stick with the senior airman for much longer. The warm welcome shocked his girls, but also showed him how much he means to people back home.
"That I was missed," he said of his own surprise. "That I’m loved. So, it was good."