‘I’m glad my daddy’s home’: Baker County military family reunited in surprise visit
NEWTON, Ga. (WALB) - A Baker County child got the surprise of a lifetime Monday when he was reunited with his dad who has been serving abroad in the military.
Owen Barker, a Baker County K-12 Schools student, didn’t want to let go of his dad, Eric Barker, who’s been gone on deployment in South Korea for a year. Now, his dad is finally home for good and ready to make up for the lost time.
“It feels really great to be back. Just excited to be back with the family and everything,” Eric said.
Eric said leaving his family while he served as an unmanned aircraft system technician comes with a lot of sacrifices.
“It’s really hard on the family, it’s hard on the kids (and) even hard on the parents, my wife,” he said. “She works and takes care of the kids and everything while I’m away and then for myself, you know, having to miss birthdays, holidays, things like that. It’s just some of the sacrifices we have to make sometimes.”
He added that those sacrifices are all worthwhile when he gets to come home to big hugs, kisses and smiles from his family.
“I’m glad my daddy’s home,” Owen said as he hugged his dad.
Owen is just one out of 1.6 million kids whose family members serve in the military. The reunion came at the perfect time as April is designated the month for military children where everyone can help celebrate their sacrifices.
“It kind of gets overlooked throughout the years as they travel from place to place when they get stationed and other things. So just being able to honor them and bring awareness to them and let them know ‘Hey, this happens to kids who are right here in our hometown’,” Jeff Henderson, Baker County K-12 principal, said.
In Owen’s case, he’ll get to spend a lot more time with his dad since he’s now home for good.
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