A special surprise homecoming left both parents and children at two local schools in tears of joy this past Thursday, March 30, when father and active-duty Army Major Erik Kucich surprised his three children after a ten-month deployment.
Kucich reached out – unbeknownst to his wife Keri – to Northport Middle School and Norwood Avenue Elementary administrators to arrange a surprise homecoming for his sixth-grade daughter Kiera and twin second graders Lily and Greyson.
“I will remember this moment forever; for the rest of my life,” said Keri, who was also surprised by her husband’s return when he showed up at her job earlier that morning.
The reunion with the Kucich kids began with a knock on Keira’s classroom door, which teacher Erica Sarle asked Keira to answer. Initially, Keira was standing behind the door, and when she peeked around the corner, exclaimed “Dad! Oh my god!” before being embraced by her father. Keira happened to be wearing her dad’s Army sweatshirt at the time.
The class welcomed Mr. Kucich with balloons, cupcakes and cheers before the family headed to surprise younger siblings Lily and Greyson at Norwood Avenue. The twins were equally shocked when their secret PARP (Pick a Reading Partner) classroom reader was actually their dad.
Kucich’s deployment was mainly in the Arabian Gulf, where he spent time across several countries in the Middle East throughout the ten-month period. He has been in the Army for nearly 14 years and hopes that this will be the last time he is away from his family for deployment.