Air Force Tech Sgt. James Meador, Sr., surprised his son Thursday at Hillsboro Intermediate School. (Photo by Christina Truong)
HILLSBORO (October 10, 2013)--As Hillsboro Intermediate School fourth grader James Meador, Jr. sat in his classroom Thursday morning the last thing he thought he'd see was his father's face.
Bust just before lunch, Air Force Tech. Sgt. James Meador, Sr. poked his head in the classroom door and was greeted not only by his son's cheerful cries, but a classroom full of excited students.
School officials said the surprise left the boy speechless.
Then just a few minutes later Meador repeated the surprise when he turned up in his daughter Jaimee's junior high classroom and the reunion soon had the whole campus cheering.
Meador planned the homecoming for weeks, Hillsboro ISD employee Paula Cox said, as he planned his return from 15 months of duty in Hungary.
And if the measure of delight on the children's faces was any indication, keeping the secret was well worth the effort.
Jaimee, a seventh grader at Hillsboro Junior High, locked her arms around her dad's neck and the two went all around the building greeting her schoolmates.
Jaimee was hurt recently while running, so her dad carried her up and down the halls to the cheers of all the kids on campus.
Jaimee said she's seen things like this on television before but never dreamed it would happen to her and her younger brother.
She said Thursday she always hoped her dad would surprise them like he did but nonetheless was elated when he did.
Meador has been in the Air Force for more than 12 years and said Thursday the hardest part about being deployed was knowing his children wouldn't be with him at the end of the day.
His to-do list includes watching his son play on the Eagles intermediate school football team.
The family is making plans to move the Las Vegas when Sgt. Meador gets orders to transfer to Nellis Air Force Base.
Jaimee says she's not looking forward to moving from the town in which she grew up but said she'll be happy just to be at her father's side.
(Christina Truong contributed to this story)