Hardin County soldier gives children the surprise of a lifetime

Updated: Apr. 19, 2017 at 4:15 PM EDT
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CECILIA, KY (WAVE) - On Friday, two West Hardin County Middle School students got the surprise of a lifetime.

The two students, Brady and Margaret Basham, had no idea their father, Warrant Officer Jason Basham from the 1st Cavalry 1st Combat Aviation Brigade in the United States Army was home from his classified mission, just in time for Easter.

"Jason has always been special operations so when he comes and goes the kids have not always been able to attend the welcome home ceremonies," said Army wife and mom, Channie Basham. "He's served 21 years in the Army and he's great at what he does."

Warrant Officer Basham has served his country for over two decades, spending years away from his family. Because of what he does in the Army, his family and friends don't always know where he is or what he's doing.

"After 11 deployments, we're just very thankful to have him back with us," said Channie.

On Friday, Warrant Officer Basham completed his final secret mission, one that Channie, and West Hardin Middle School was in on.

"With this being his last big deployment I wanted to do something really big for the children, especially since this was his 11th deployment," said Channie. "I just thought it would be nice to surprise them in a big way."

And that's exactly what they did. The Bashams did everything they could to keep Jason's homecoming a secret.

"At first, we thought Brady and Margaret were on to us and knew something was going on," said Channie.

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But, they had no idea.

Jason went to Margaret's classroom first, walking up behind her. With a gasp from Margaret, father and daughter were finally reunited. Tears were shed, and a hug was held tight, not letting go for several minutes.

Then, with father, mother and daughter in tow, it was time to surprise Brady.

While in the gymnasium, Brady spots his dad waling towards him on the bleachers. His classmates "awe" in unison and then the clapping starts, also lasting for a few minutes.

"We're very happy," said Channie.

"I feel great to have all my family back together," Jason Basham added.

After 11 deployments and 21 years, Warrant Officer Jason Basham will put in his retirement papers in May. He will be a retired member of the United States Army by the beginning of 2018.

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