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West Tennessee Serviceman Surprises Kids with Homecoming

By Emily Cassulo
By ecassulo@wbbjtv.com

MCKENZIE, Tenn. - More than 160 servicemen and women with Tennessee's National Guard came home Tuesday after a year overseas.

Their families welcomed them with open arms, and some loved ones were even surprised about their soldiers' return.

7 Eyewitness News was in McKenzie Tuesday night, where one serviceman surprised his kids by coming to watch his son's first middle school football game.

It was SFC David Jarrett's second homecoming, and it was one his family will never forget.

"It was crazy," said Jarrett's son, Evan. "I didn't know he was going to be here. I thought they said he was going to come home tomorrow."

Sgt. Jarrett has been serving his country with the Tennessee National Guard for 24 years. His first time overseas, he was in Iraq. This time he was in Kuwait for a year, but his family said the second time does not get any easier.

"The first time he deployed was 2005 and the kids were small, and I thought that was hard, but I think this time it's been harder because they're all missing dad and needing dad," Jarrett's wife, Michele, said.

Sgt. Jarrett said being gone a year felt like forever, but is grateful for Skype, though he admits it is just not the same.

"It's not the same as actually being able to reach over and hold your wife's hand, or give your kids a hug," Jarrett said.

And now he can do that.

"It's wonderful to be home," Jarrett said. "Get to be home, be here with my family and my friends. It's amazing to be back. It's just overwhelming, really."

And he said he hopes to be home indefinitely.

The Jarrett family said they look forward to a vacation, and spending a lot of time together, making up for lost time.
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