YUKON, Okla. (KFOR) — “Homecoming” had more than one meaning at Friday evening’s high school football game in Yukon, Oklahoma.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Joseph Jarvis, with the Army National Guard, surprised his children on Friday night at their school’s homecoming, reuniting with his family a month earlier than expected.
Jarvis had just returned from his overseas deployment — his fourth deployment overall. He drove to Yukon from Texas on Friday, arriving before Yukon High School’s homecoming football game — and just in time to walk his daughter Emelyn onto the field for homecoming court.
“He missed her first steps and, you know, when I was praying and thinking about this, I just was like, ‘Man, I just hope that he can be here to walk her these steps out onto the field,'” his wife Heather Jarvis told Nexstar’s KFOR.
“And so something happened and it came through.”
It had been 10 months since Jarvis and his family were all together. He said his kids had “grown so much” since he’d been away, and he’s ready to start catching up.
“I left Christmas night,” Jarvis told KFOR. “I’m looking forward to just having some one-on-one quiet time in our house and just enjoy each other’s company.”
Friday night’s reunion was a memory the Jarvis family says they will never forget.
“Today was extremely exciting. Once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Jarvis, who thanked his superiors at the Army National Guard for helping to make the moment happen.
“It felt surreal,” he added. “It was, you know, it was kind of like, ‘Is this happening?’ You know, ‘Is this real life?’ But yeah, it was incredible.”
It’s not just the Jarvis family celebrating in Oklahoma this weekend. More than 120 soldiers with the Oklahoma National Guard are set to return home on Saturday following a nine-month deployment overseas.