Hanson Elementary students surprised by soldier dad

Hanson Elementary students surprised by soldier dad

HANSON, KY (WFIE) - Nearly a year has gone by since two young western Kentucky girls have seen their dad.

He's been stationed overseas. But on Tuesday, that all changed.

Inside Hanson Elementary, hundreds of students stepped into the gymnasium. They were being rewarded with a magic show for the hard work on a recent fundraiser.

"I was enjoying it as much as they were, every trick it was really neat," Principal Aaron Clark said.

Among the crowd was eight-year-old Kenzie, a third-grade student there. She was sitting with her three-year-old sister, Peyton.

The two, even getting called up by magician Drew Murray to be a helping hand.

"I don't think the kids on the floor and in the stands realized what was happening," Clark added.

Only days after Veterans day, Kenzie and Peyton's dad, Army National Guard Specialist Jason Drake, was secretly waiting backstage. He was returning home from Kuwait and Afghanistan for the first time in nearly a year.

During a game in front of her peers, Kenzie thought she was looking for the magician, choosing among three closed doors.

She found her dad behind door number three.

"I started to have tears in my eyes," Kenzie recalled.

A military dad, now holding his two daughters, home just in time for the holidays.

The family tells us they're looking forward to getting life back to normal.

"Spending time with my girls," Jason Drake said.

"I was ready for daddy to come home," Kenzie stated.

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