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Soldier surprises children

Mason, Matthew, Michah and Marianna Godwin had no idea what they were in for Tuesday morning.

Their father, Jason, has served in the Army for 20 years and has been deployed four times. His children are used to missing their dad, and accustomed to cherishing the time they do have to spend with him.

With Jason due to arrive home on Tuesday after a year in Iraq, their mom, Meredith, had an idea to make this reunion even more special than usual.

W.O. Parmer and Greenville elementary school students packed the GES gym as the Greenville Middle School band provided music.

The assembly was framed as a demonstration by the Butler County JROTC, who took the stage both to perform several drills in front of the assembly and to help throw the Godwin kids off the scent.

Finally, the “special guest” stepped across the stage and was immediately charged by four very excited children.

“I was very surprised,” Micah said later.

Jason, after greeting a host of family and friends, said the warm reception helped make the homecoming and reunion even sweeter.

“The warm welcome was greatly appreciated,” he said. “Greenville is a great place to come home to.”

This trip home will last for 30 days, after which Jason will travel to Fort Knox in Kentucky.