Soldier reunites with family

Master Sergeant Tim Richards surprised his daughter Taylor Richards by returning home from a recent tour overseas. (Photo by Keith McCoy)

Master Sergeant Tim Richards surprised his daughter Taylor Richards by returning home from a recent tour overseas. (Photo by Keith McCoy)

Chilton Christian Academy was the site of an emotional reunion between Master Sergeant Tim Richards and his family.

Richards returned home after serving overseas in the United States Army National Guard.

He has served for 36 years and completed five tours including one in Iraq, one in Kuwait-Iraq and three in Afghanistan.

According to Richards, each time returning home becomes more and more special.

“It makes you very appreciative of what you have here at home and the everyday things that you might take for granted,” Richards said.

Three of Richards’ daughters Brittany Headley, Courtney Duke and Destiny waited anxiously behind the bleachers in the gym along with grandchildren Brenton and Jacie Dooley and son in law Grant Headley, while Richards waited in the wings for his named to be called along with his wife Judy.

“We’re thankful each day for him being over here instead of over there,” Brittany Headley said. “However, we understand that he does it for us and our freedom.”

The surprise remained a secret to Richards’ youngest daughter Taylor, a senior at Chilton Christian, until the very last moment.

“The last couple of days were very hard to keep it a secret,” Judy Richards said.

She was under the impression that it was a pep rally to introduce the final totals of the school’s can food drive. That all changed once she saw her father appear from a side entrance.

There was no hesitation in her reaction as she ran toward him and gave him a hug.

“It may me start crying,” Taylor Richards said. “It was just unbelievable.”

Tim and Judy have been married for 23 years and are members of Verbena Baptist Church.

The homecoming came at a perfect time, just after Veterans Day and right before Thanksgiving.

“Over the last three weeks I have known several personnel that have lost their lives and won’t be able to return home,” Richards said.

 

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