Son surprises mom with emotional reunion after more than 2 years apart

September 23, 2021 | 12:10 am

Updated September 23, 2021 | 1:49 am

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It was all smiles at Whitesville Elementary School on Wednesday when U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Bobby Barnett surprised his mom Becky during the 3rd-grade lunch shift. The two haven’t seen each other for more than 2 years and struggled to put the experience into words.

“It was a crazy experience not to see your family for more than 2 years,” Bobby said Wednesday evening. “It was a real shock; my emotions were through the roof with happiness.”

Bobby has been in the military for more than 3 years and is currently stationed in Minot, North Dakota, where he serves in Security Forces for the Air Force. He is an alumnus of Whitesville Elementary School and Daviess County High School.

“My family is my biggest inspiration to keep driving forward,” he said. “Coming home and seeing them was a big eye-opener; to show them how far I’ve come is a great experience for me.”

Becky has worked at Whitesville Elementary School for more than 11 years. She said she had watched these reunion videos all the time but never even considered having her own. 

“It was like, almost like, unbelievable, really,” she said. “For him to be standing there, it was almost unreal … I was like, are you really there? We are super excited to have him home for a while.”

Bobby contacted school administrators to organize the homecoming and leaned on some of his high school buddies to pick him up from the airport. The 3rd-graders were informed of the plan shortly before their lunch shift. They provided some well-deserved applause and even started a “U-S-A” chant. 

“I was completely surprised,” Becky said. “There were a couple of other times that I knew he was looking at coming home, but there were always some obstacles. I just kept telling myself that whenever it happens, I’ll believe it. I’m super excited and very, very happy.”

The family looks forward to the time together and has intentions of enjoying every minute they can. Bobby will look to recharge himself before he returns to service. 

September 23, 2021 | 12:10 am

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