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'That was an awesome moment': Student gets surprise visit from military father

mannering hustonville story
Posted at 9:49 AM, Aug 26, 2022

HUSTONVILLE, Ky. (WLEX) — Luke Johnson adores his father, but he hasn't been able to see him much lately.

“He’s been gone since I was in first grade,” said Luke, who started second grade this year.

Luke's dad serves in the National Guard.

“He doesn’t fly, but he fixes planes and helicopters,” Luke said.

His dad’s dedication to his deployment may only be rivaled by his dedication to his family.

“He always wants the best for us. He always provides for us and does everything that we need,” said Mandy, his wife. “He sacrifices, his time to go and do things to help, benefit us.”

Mandy says the distance is hard for everyone.

“Talking on the phone and FaceTime just isn’t the same as seeing dad in person,” she said.

On the third day of school, Luke's dad surprised his son in his classroom.

“He had to do a double take at first. He saw him, then he kinda looked over, and he looked back. He knew daddy was there, and he took off,” said Mandy.

Captured on video, Luke can be seen running into his dad’s arms, his mom standing nearby watching the reunion, over a year in the making.

“I just ran up and gave him a hug,” said Luke.

“That was an awesome moment,” said Mandy. “Luke cried, well, we were all crying, but you could just see the excitement in Luke’s face and how much he had missed his dad.”

This story was originally reported by Megan Mannering on