(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Jonathan Blyth, a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve who spent the last nine months overseas, promised his son he’d be home by the time school let out.
Blyth made it home today (Tuesday), with one day to spare.
He arranged to surprise his son, David, just before class let out at Arlington Science Focus School. Staff led the second grader away from the room briefly, giving his dad some time to sneak in and wait for David to return.
“I was very shocked,” David Blyth told ARLnow. “I was just expecting books.”
Jonathan Blyth says seeing his son again after nearly a year apart “gives you a greater appreciation of the United States of America,” particularly because this was his first deployment.
He was stationed at NATO’s Resolute Support Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan for the last seven months, so he finds himself appreciating even the little things like “the ability to walk and be outside.”
“It’s amazing to be back,” Blyth said. “It’s great to be back.”
He brought with him a preserved scorpion — David’s verdict: “It’s creepy looking,” but he still showed it off to his classmates — as well as a Washington Nationals baseball cap.
David will head back to school for his last day of class tomorrow (Wednesday), then the family will take off for a lengthy summer vacation.
“I promised him if he did well in school, he’d get a trip to Disney World,” Jonathan Blyth said.